The Miami Marlins showed interest in adding Delmon Young, before he signed with the Baltimore Orioles on a minor league deal. After missing out on Young, the Marlins are still in the market for a right-handed hitting backup outfielder.
Looking for a right-handed hitting backup outfielder, the Marlins have interest in free agent Jeff Baker, 32, who also can play three infield positions and hit .279 with 11 homers and 21 RBI for Texas last season. They also have discussed Vernon Wells, 35, who batted .233 with 11 homers and 50 RBI for the Yankees in 2013 and was designated for assignment last week.
Wells posted a .233/.282/.349 slash line in 458 plate appearances for the Yankees last season, with the 11 home runs mentioned by Jackson. He was not a productive player for the Yanks, posting .279 wOBA and a -.8 WAR. Wells has not been productive since his last season in Toronto in 2010. He posted a .273/.331/.515 slash line with a .363 wOBA.
Wells did play 8 innings at first base and has a career .286/.348/.471 career slash line against lefties. He could be a decent buy-low option for the Marlins at first, to platoon with Garrett Jones. However, the Marlins would be wise not to invest anything other than a minor league deal to see what they can get from Wells.
According to Jackson, the team also has interest in Jeff Baker, who could actually make more sense for the Marlins than Wells, given his versatility.
Baker posted a .279/.360/.545 slash line in 175 plate appearances with the Texas Rangers. Baker has extensive experience playing first, second, third, left, and right field in his career.
Jeff Baker has always been a strong hitter against left-handed pitching in his career, owning a .298/.353/.522 slash line with a .375 wOBA in 751 career plate appearances. With over 655 career innings at first base, the Marlins likely won’t find a better option on the free agent market at this point to platoon with Jones at first.
The Marlins could have competition for Baker, as the Rangers, Giants, and Yankees have been linked to Baker during the off-season (via MLBTradRumors). Though the Marlins likely would offer the most playing time, if they do consider to platoon him with Jones at first against lefties.
What do you guys think? Should the Marlins continue to show interest in both free agents in hope of adding more offense to their bench and a possible platoon option at first? Or do you have a suggestion of someone you feel better fits the Fish? Let us know in the comments.