Was this season the last season former Marlins star Martin Prado will put on a Major League uniform. Has he decided to call it a career?
The one-time All-Star finished off 2019 with the 100th home run of his career in a Marlins victory. One of the most respected players to ever put on a uniform in Miami has told friends he is done on the diamond, according to both Jon Heyman and Call to the Pen.
The Marlins had already announced that Prado would not be brought back next season, while meant he became a free agent the day after the Washington Nationals captured the World Series. The fan-favorite spent more time on the disabled list the past three seasons than he did in the lineup. His ability to play multiple positions was the key to his longevity in the Majors, where he spent time with the Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and the Marlins.
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At different points of his career, Prado has played at every position except in centerfield, catcher and on the mound.
"“During his major league career, Martin Prado was the type of player any franchise would like to have,” writes David Hill of Call to the Pen. “Despite his limited power, Prado was a solid hitter, showing excellent contact skills and a strong batting eye. He was also versatile defensively, spending time around the infield and at both corner outfield positions. In a perfect world, Prado was the perfect utility man.”"
The move by the organization to let Prado walk instead of bringing him back for at least one more season is a sign the franchise will continue to move forward with younger players on the 26-man roster. It also means the Marlins will look to free agency or the trade market to add a veteran or two to provide leadership on the field and in the clubhouse.
It wasn’t just the fact he was a clutch hitter for the teams he played for, as Hill points out, but defensively he showed he could be effective wherever he played on the diamond.
"“Prado was also a strong defensive player. He had over 250 appearances at left, second, and third, with the majority of his time coming at the hot corner,” Hill adds.“In just 793 games at third, Prado saved 27 runs, which was the ninth-best amongst active third basemen. He also saved 13 runs in left, and led the league with 15 runs saved in 2012.”"