Building a contender is a tough job, and while the high-end additions to the everyday roster are essential, it is the under-the-radar depth moves that often make the difference between a contender and a pretender. For the Miami Marlins, they are currently a team without significant depth. That’s a status the team hopes to rectify in the coming weeks.
According to Matt Eddy at Baseball America, the Marlins made two such moves recently, signing outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder Scott Sizemore to minor league deals and both will likely also include invitations to spring training with the big club.
At 29-years-old, Tyler Colvin is an interesting option as a back-up outfielder or even as a possible platoon partner for Michael Morse at first base. Colvin is just three years removed from a 2012 season with the Colorado Rockies in which he hit a .290/.327/.531 with a wRC+ of 113, 18 home runs, and 72 RBI in just 452 plate appearances. However, since then he has played in just 84 games with the Rockies and Giants respectively, as back issues have held him from matching that production.
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With Miami needing outfield depth, Colvin fits a number of needs the team currently has. Colvin is left-handed, both at the plate and throwing. Additionally, he has experience all over the outfield, but his lack of range dictates that he grades out best in right field.
As for Scott Sizemore, he’s more of a luxury signing than a player that has a chance to break camp with the team. Since being ranked at the #57 prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2010 season, the 30-year-old Sizemore has bounced around from the Detroit Tigers to the Oakland Athletics, and then spent the 2014 season the New York Yankees system.
A career .295/.381/.450 hitter in the minor leagues, Sizemore has never been able to put things together at the Major League level hitting just .240/.327/.383 in 166 games and 614 plate appearances between the Tigers, A’s, and Yankees.
For the Marlins, the team is already pretty packed with middle infielders, with both Donovan Solano and Miguel Rojas expected to compete for playing time in a back-up role. Additionally, newly-acquired Martin Prado is perhaps the most flexible utility-man this side of Ben Zobrist. While he’s expected to be the starting third baseman, his ability to play second and short as well only adds to that infield depth.
Still, both players could eventually serve a role with the team, even if they don’t break camp. The Marlins will likely continue to add similar pieces in the outfield, hoping to field a competition for the role. Sizemore will likely start the season at Triple-A New Orleans but again could find his way to the Marlins at some point in 2015.