Last year, the Marlins made a big splash with their free agent acquisitions. Everything was set to remake the Marlins and kick things off in a new era with a brand new ballpark. A year later, a lot has changed after a disappointing 93 loss season; the payroll was gutted and the Marlins brass decided a reboot was more prescriptive for what ails this franchise. The fans, disappointed to say the least, are not excited about the on-field product for next season.
Still, there are some who think the Marlins are not quite done with their offseason. Jim Bowden seems to think that the Marlins will sign a major free agent to a short term deal with a no-trade clause. It has been done before – back in 2003 when the Marlins signed Pudge Rodriguez to a one year deal worth $8M.
The Marlins have glaring needs at 3B and could use some starting pitching depth as their staff is made up mostly of rookies with very little experience. They have a short term answer in LF with Juan Pierre returning, supplying the missing speed of Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio which leads to speculation about what the long term goal is.
Judging by the rumors, don’t expect a big splash from the Marlins on the free agent market. Here are some names being tossed around as of now:
Mark DeRosa? According to Juan Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel, he might be a good fit for the Marlins who are looking to bolster their bench a bit. The 37 year old is flexible enough to come off the bench for pinch hitting, play some 2B, 3B, and even LF.
Another speculative report has the Marlins in the hunt for Ryan Raburn to possibly sign on as a utility man for the Fish. Raburn could give the Marlins another OF, but his skill set doesn’t look to differ too much from what the Marlins already have on staff.
If you are thinking the Marlins could pull off a trade, the only veteran assets they have to move with any value are Yunel Escobar, Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco. Stanton is all but untouchable – as he should be. Nolasco has very little value because he is in the final year of his contract, which is guaranteed to net him $11M this upcoming season. Very unlikely the Marlins move him and the front office has made some assurances they are not going to deal him this offseason. Then there is recently acquired Yunel Escobar, who could be moved as well but it remains to be seen who will be a taker on a guy with a reputation for having an attitude problem. Maybe a package deal with 2 of those three names gets something done.
Stay tuned as the Marlins look to pick through the garage sales and try to find a diamond in the rough. They should be players in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, which means they could take a player for only $50K but he would have to stay on their 25 man roster for at least the next year. Chris McGuiness or Nate Freiman look intriguing enough to possibly see the Fish take flyerson.