The Marlins are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:
Eligible For Free Agency (5)
- Anibal Sanchez - Sanchez will be in high demand this offseason. He's just 28 and he continues to pitch like a top-of-the-rotation starter. The Marlins figure to make the right-hander a qualifying offer to be eligible for draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo - Oviedo, the pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez, is not part of the Marlins' long-term plans. He hasn't pitched in 2012 because of issues surrounding his age and identity.
- Randy Choate - Most modern bullpens employ lefty specialists and Choate remains effective in that role at age 36.
- Chad Gaudin - There's no reason to believe the journeyman right-hander figures into the team's 2013 plans just yet.
- Austin Kearns - Kearns has been useful as a lefty masher this year, even batting cleanup seven times. Perhaps the Marlins will want him back as a platoon bat/extra outfielder.
Contract Options (1)
- Carlos Zambrano: $19.25MM vesting option. The option vests if Zambrano places in the top four in this year's Cy Young voting and finishes the season healthy. As well as he has pitched, it seems unlikely the option will vest.
Arbitration Eligible (7)
- First time: Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, Brett Hayes, Ryan Webb
- Second time: Emilio Bonifacio, Donnie Murphy
- Third time: Edward Mujica
The Marlins face a mid-sized arbitration class that could diminish in the coming months. Coghlan could be non-tendered if the Marlins feel a gap has developed between the former Rookie of the Year's resume and his current skills. Murphy could also be non-tendered. Sanchez is now in the minors and unless he returns to Miami, his arbitration eligibility will be delayed. The Marlins saved themselves millions by delaying Giancarlo Stanton's MLB debut in 2010; he will miss the cutoff for super two eligibility by a couple of weeks. Even if the team retains all seven players, the cost should stay in the $10-15MM range.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Marlins have already committed $85MM to next year's team, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. Revenue from their new stadium should provide ownership with the opportunity to boost payroll in 2013 and exceed their current $101.6MM tab.