Marlins, Valentine to meet Friday

Former Texas Rangers and New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine has confirmed he will fly to Florida on Friday night to meet with Marlins executives, including owner Jeffrey Loria, and discuss the club's managerial job.

A source close to the negotiations said that the Marlins are expected to offer Valentine a four-year contract.

Valentine, now an analyst with ESPN, withdrew his name from consideration for the Orioles' managerial job Wednesday soon after it was announced that the Marlins had fired manager Fredi Gonzalez. Valentine has known Loria for 20 years, and has had informal discussions with Loria over the last eight months about Valentine's interest in someday managing the Marlins.

Edwin Rodriguez, the Marlins' Triple-A manager, was named the interim manager. Rodriguez is Puerto Rican and the Marlins play the Mets in a three-game series in Puerto Rico starting Monday. A source close to the negotiations said it seems logical the Marlins will have Rodriguez manage the Marlins for the three games in Puerto Rico, then name Valentine the manager.

The Marlins are in Baltimore Thursday night, return home this weekend for three games before heading out on a 13-day road trip. All indications are that some time during that trip, Valentine will become the new manager of the Marlins.

Tim Kurkjian is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.