If there is an organization that has become the poster child of rebuilding, it is the Miami Marlins. After firing another manager earlier this offseason, the search for a manager and free agents to fill out a roster filled with young players is a priority.
Here are the free agents of the Marlins:
Carlos Lee, 1B: A well-traveled veteran, Lee was acquired from the Houston Astros midway through the 2012 season. In his half-season in Miami, Lee did not bring the source of power out of a first baseman. With Lee at 36 years old, the 13-year veteran should not be offered a contract to return to the Marlins. As a rebuilding organization, it is time to find a young player who can learn at the major league level.
Donnie Murphy, 2B/SS: A veteran infielder, Murphy was released from the 40-man roster and refused a minor league assignment. In his three seasons with the Marlins, he was a backup infielder, usually substituting for everyday players or coming in for defensive purposes. He is not worth re-signing as he is the type of veteran who will take the place from a young player who could be developed into an everyday player at the major league level.
Gil Velazquez, 3B/SS: After refusing his assignment to the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, the 33-year-old was granted free agency. During his only season in Miami, he was basically a September call-up, playing in 19 games in 2012. For a rebuilding team, Velazquez is the type of player who should not be re-signed. He may be looking for a minor league deal and hoping to get to a contender's spring training camp.
Austin Kearns, LF/RF: Kearns made the Marlins as a fourth outfielder and pinch hitter after receiving a spring training invite. In Kearns' lone season as a Marlins, he was able to contribute in the role that landed him a roster spot, appearing in 87 games. However, Kearns should not be re-signed; only 32 of his 87 games were in the field. Other than having a veteran presence in the locker room, I do not see much redeeming value for the Marlins. He may have to look to the American League for his next opportunity.
Carlos Zambrano, SP:Zambrano was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs in January to add depth to the starting rotation. Unfortunately, he was hard hit before being moved into the bullpen. He was able to have success out of the bullpen after his July demotion. However, it is hard for the Marlins to re-sign him unless he accepts a role in the bullpen.
Juan Carlos Oviedo (Leo Nunez), RP: Oviedo, who has also pitched with the Marlins as Leo Nunez, was on the disabled list during the 2012 season with an elbow injury. During his time with the Marlins, he served as the closer between the 2009-2011 seasons. He converted 92 of his 117 save opportunities during that time. Oviedo brought stability to a bullpen with little depth and talent. However, it is difficult to see the Marlins re-sign a reliever over the age of 30 with elbow troubles.
Edwin Alexander is a Miami native and a fan of the now Miami Marlins since their start in 1993. His favorite moment in team history was attending the 2003 World Series parade and regularly attends Marlins games.
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