Joe Capozzi checks in with a look at the Marlins' approach toward free agency this winter.
It sounds like the Fish are willing to spend a few bucks to upgrade on Miguel Olivo in the catcher spot. Do they go for the defensive-minded Yorvit Torrealba, or the typically offensive-minded Michael Barrett? So far the Marlins are leaning toward Torrealba, but would have to beat the Rockies' two-year, $6MM offer. And the Mets' level of interest probably just increased with Jorge Posada staying with the Yankees.
Barrett has a Jeffrey Loria connection, but might seek a two-year deal for $8MM or so. The Padres might roll the dice and offer him arbitration. If they do he declines then the price for another team to sign him increases signficantly - a first or second round draft pick. The Marlins #6 overall pick is protected, as is the Devil Rays' #1 overall pick. In contrast, teams like the Brewers, Blue Jays, Mets, and Rockies risk losing first round picks if they sign Type A free agents who declined arbitration. Another way to lose those picks would be to sign Type A guys before December 2nd.
Capozzi says the Fish could also look at Paul Lo Duca, Damian Miller, or Rod Barajas if the first two choices fall through.
The Marlins will surf the bargain bin for one veteran starter, and they're currently targeting Mike Maroth. I like it. He's an Orlando native who could bounce back and win ten games in '08. Capozzi also says the Marlins are in touch with Aaron Boone's agent, but will have competition from the Nationals.
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