The Marlins don’t appear likely to make a significant free-agent addition to their bullpen, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the team isn’t expected to add Phil Coke or Joba Chamberlain, and the asking price of Francisco Rodriguez remains too high. Frisaro had previously written that Miami was considering Rodriguez and had its eyes on a minor league deal for Coke.
According to Frisaro, the Marlins are comfortable offering Rodriguez a two-year deal worth roughly $10MM in total. However, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported last night that K-Rod is seeking that same level of financial compensation on a one-year deal. I’d imagine that agent Scott Boras would listen if the Marlins were to expand (though certainly not double) their comfort zone on a two-year deal, but Frisaro gives no indication that such a scenario is likely. He does note that if Rodriguez’s demands drop, he’s the most realistic external option to boost the bullpen. The Marlins don’t have serious interest in Chamberlain, Frisaro adds.
As for Coke, the Marlins remain unwilling to give the former Tiger anything other than a minor league contract. Miami is very interested to see what Rule 5 pick Andrew McKirahan can do in Spring Training, and adding Coke would likely snuff out that competition before it had a chance to begin, as the team already has a second lefty locked into a bullpen spot in the form of Mike Dunn. Coke, though, is said to be looking for about $2MM on a Major League contract.
Another name that intrigues the Marlins is that of minor league signee Nick Masset, who excelled as a setup man for the Reds from 2009-11 before shoulder problems kept him on the shelf for the entire 2012 and 2013 seasons. Masset returned to the Majors in 2014 but struggled to a 5.80 ERA in 45 innings with the Rockies. However, Masset did still average nearly 93 mph on his fastball with a 51.7 percent ground-ball rate, so there are some elements of his rough season that merit optimism.