Recently, there was a great deal of speculation as to how the Marlins would take care of the third base job as prospect Matt Dominguez was demoted to the minors to improve his offense. However, Larry Beinfest seemed to put that talk to rest when he said that the trade front was rather quiet, leaving Donnie Murphy as the club's Opening Day starting third baseman.
Unfortunately for the Marlins, Dominguez suffered a slight fracture to his left elbow yesterday and Murphy was struck on his surgically-repaired right hand by a pitch in the seventh inning of tonight's contest against the Mets. Dominguez should be back in action in 4-6 weeks but there is no word on Murphy's condition just yet. If the Fish find themselves without Murphy's services for an extended period of time, they can refer back to their shortlist of third base candidates from just weeks ago. We could hear names like Michael Young rehashed again, but with a $16MM annual salary, it's not likely that the Marlins and Rangers can match up. Fortunately for the Marlins, a couple of the more affordable options are newly available.
The Marlins flirted with the idea of bringing in Royals veteran Pedro Feliz in March. On Sunday, Feliz asked for, and was granted, his release. Though it was said at the time at the Marlins weren't likely to sign the 35-year-old, circumstances may bring about a change of heart in the Florida front office. Former Marlin Luis Castillo has also re-entered the open market after being cut loose by the Phillies. Castillo could theoretically be put at his preferred position, second base, with Omar Infante being moved over to third. Even though neither player would represent an earth-shattering signing, either player would be able to keep the spot at third warm until Dominguez recovers and gets his bat up to speed.
It's also quite possible that the Marlins would once again fill the void at third base internally. After all, as Beinfest said, whoever they would acquire to play the position would be nothing more than a "placeholder".