Miami Marlins Don’t Need Francisco Rodriguez


After losing out on James Shields, it was widely assumed by most that the Miami Marlins would be content with their roster and head into spring training without any more additions. However, even before losing the Shields sweepstakes, the idea of adding former Brewer closer Francisco Rodriguez was floated out there.

According to’s Jim Bowden (Insider Required), the Marlins interest in K-Rod is legitimate, as GM Dan Jennings did mention to him on Sunday on Bowden’s radio show that it was a possibility.

"The Miami Marlins are the next team in line, and it appears they also are looking to add a reliever before next week. I asked Marlins GM Dan Jennings specifically about Rodriguez and Soriano this past week and he said, “We are always looking to add.” They have room in their budget and a spot in the bullpen for another veteran presence."

As Bowden notes in his article, the Marlins would look to be adding K-Rod in a setup role, in front of closer Steve Cishek. Adding K-Rod would be nice insurance for the Marlins, but such a move does not make a ton of sense.

Author Daniel Zylberkan posted a great article earlier this week about the excellence of the Marlins, young bullpen. Cishek and Dunn have been two of the more consistent bullpen arms the past two seasons and Dunn recently signed a 2-year extension with the club.

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If we go with the assumption that the Marlins are going to carry 13 hitters and 12 pitchers, the team would be carrying 7 bullpen arms. Six of those seven spots are already taken, with the final one likely going to one of the starting pitchers that doesn’t make the rotation. Rule 5 selectee Andrew McKirahan, who Travis Honeycutt profiled the other day, has to make the club out of spring training or be offered back to the Cubs.

This bullpen is under the assumption that Dan Haren does end up pitching for the Marlins. If he does not, then two of Hand, Koehler, and Phelps would end up starting the season in the rotation, which could make David Phelps the favorite for the final bullpen spot.

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Of the three pitchers, both Hand and Koehler are out of options, so they’d be at risk of being lost by the organization if the team decided to try and demote them. Phelps, however, is going through arbitration now, filing for $1.875 million in arbitration, while the team has offered $1.4 million. So with a contract over $1 million, it’s hard to see him not making the big league roster.

Signing K-Rod could put the future of Carter Capps in doubt, as in my estimation, Capps should have one option left in 2015. But sending him down would not be such a great idea, as he likely is a better option than Rodriguez for the 2015 season and beyond, despite missing a chunk of last season with a shoulder injury.

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The two things that will probably bounce off the screen to the Marlins front office: Saves and ERA. Combine that with his experience, and the Marlins have a formula to try and sell K-Rod as the better option than Capps.

Unfortunately, those are not the best numbers to evaluate how a reliever is going to do in the future, as Capps posted a more impressive strikeout rate, walk rate, and FIP in his innings of work. He was worth nearly a win more than K-Rod in over 48 less innings.

Capps was unlucky with his BABIP last season, as it sat at an inflated .340 average. K-Rod, however, walked into a great deal of luck, greatly benefitting from a .216 BABIP.

If both pitchers regress a bit in 2015 with their BABIP numbers, Capps will be an even more superior option for the Marlins.

While Francisco Rodriguez could be a nice fit on his former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, it does not seem the Miami Marlins have an immediate fit for his services. The team is already equipped with what seems to be a strong bullpen. Adding Rodriguez would not help the Marlins in their playoff push.

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