Marlins are willing to open wallets for Francisco Rodriguez, but don’t need him

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The Miami Marlins bullpen appears to be pretty much set for the 2015 season, with maybe a question mark or two remaining at the front end. However, the team has recently expressed the will to add another arm to the mix if they could be had at the right price. Now, according to Joe Frisaro, the Marlins are unlikely to add a major free agent to the relief corps, though he does note they were probably willing to overpay for Francisco Rodriguez.

"The team is open to offering a two-year deal in the $10 million range. But there are reports K-Rod is seeking much more than that — like $10 million for one year."

$10 million is an awfully lofty number to be asking for, especially for a guy with a recent history of injuries. It’s telling that he is still a free agent on the day before Spring Training begins; teams, even the big market clubs, know that throwing huge money at bullpen arms comes back to burn them more often than not. Despite his 44 saves with the Brewers in 2014 — a “statistic” he and agent Scott Boras are undoubtedly trying to sell in negotiations — Rodriguez had a -0.6 fWAR last year. Even the $5 million per-year the Marlins would be willing to pony up is a massive overpay. Maybe K-Rod has been getting advice from Adeiny Hechavarria this offseason.

In the best interest of the Marlins, one can only hope Rodriguez and Boras don’t budge from their absurd asking price, and they pass on his services. The Marlins just re-signed Mike Dunn for two years and $5.8 million. Steve Cishek, the club’s outstanding closer, will make $6.65 million in 2015. A.J. Ramos and Bryan Morris expect to remain staples in their setup roles, and David Phelps should make the club as well. The rest of the bullpen spots should be decided between Preston Claiborne, who has shown promise in his brief tenures with the Yankees, Aaron Crow, Carter Capps, Andre Rienzo and Sam Dyson. Most of those names represent the aforementioned question marks, but for his outlandish asking price, Francisco Rodriguez doesn’t represent a significant upgrade over any of Miami’s internal ‘pen options.

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The Marlins had also been linked to Phil Coke and Joba Chamberlain, but as Frisaro notes, neither are likely additions to the club at this point.

The Marlins 2015 payroll stands at a tick over $60 million right now. While that’s still one of the lowest totals in baseball, the team probably doesn’t have much more wiggle room anyway; Miami had projected a payroll somewhere in the $60-65 million range.

Spring Training starts tomorrow for the Marlins, and the roster looks essentially complete. The Fish are bringing 66 players to camp, including four promising prospects. In the coming weeks we’ll get a better idea of where the bullpen should stand in 2015 as players get reassigned to minor league camp and cut from their non-guaranteed pacts.

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Next: Marlins Morning News and Notes for 2/19

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