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Sources: Marlins to hire Valentine

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The Marlins are hiring Bobby Valentine as their next manager, sources close to the team said.

The team has at least a tentative deal with Valentine, those sources said. Valentine will start as soon as Monday, when the Marlins play his old team, the Mets, in Puerto Rico, though it is possible that he could start sooner.

The Marlins also considered interim manager Edwin Rodriguez, but owner Jeffrey Loria has been sold on Valentine for a while, according to people familiar with the situation. ESPN, Valentine's employer for the past several months, reported that the Marlins were expected to make a four-year offer to him.

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Valentine told news outlets that he was going to South Florida on Friday to meet with Marlins officials to discuss the job. He didn't return a call late Thursday.

Valentine said Wednesday that he was dropping out of consideration for the Orioles job. That was the day the Marlins fired Fredi Gonzalez as manager after four years. People close to Valentine say he is impressed by the Marlins' scouting system and pleased that they will be moving into a new stadium.