In case you missed it over the weekend, the Marlins have decided to tender contracts to almost all of their remaining arbitration eligible players (h/t MLBTR). One player not among those listed was Alfredo Amezaga, who was non-tendered and let go.
Fredo was a fan favorite among Marlins faithful, but he was obviously an expendable part. He made $1.1M last season in his first arbitration year, and he was due for a raise even though he was out for most of the season with injury. His role on the club was primarily that of a late-inning defensive specialist, though he was shoved into a starting role for much of 2006-2008 due to injuries and a perceived lack of options in center field.
Amezaga never had much in the way of a bat (career wOBA of .289), but he always brought a good glove with him. In 1712 innings in center field, he’s saved 27 runs according to UZR, including a +16 season in 2007 which led to a surprising 2 WAR campaign. I doubt that this is Amezaga’s true-talent defensive level, but I am confident in saying that he is among the better center fielders in the game. But because of his bat, he’ll never see more than part-time play as a defensive specialist, and that is likely what he should get.
The bit of good news for the Fish is that, given the team’s propensity of having one “super-sub” utility man on the bench at all times, the club must feel Emilio Bonifacio can fill the role that Amezaga served before him. This is good for us fans because it means we likely won’t see Bonifacio at the plate or in the field too often. As you might expect given last year’s performance, that’s a good thing.