The Marlins' most effective starting pitcher and top situational player in 2011 are now officially free agents.
As of 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, Javier Vazquez and Greg Dobbs joined a list of 148 MLB players who have formally filed for free agency. Infielder Jose Lopez rounds out the eligible members of the '11 Marlins who will test the market.
By league rule, free agents have a five-day period to negotiate exclusively with their most recent clubs. So the Marlins are able to talk exclusively with Vazquez, Dobbs and Lopez through 12:01 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Javy has a place in the Marlins starting rotation should he desire to pitch another year. Hopefully he will, but it is really up to him and his family. He has earned the right to finish his baseball career on his own terms, and that has yet to be decided.
Greg Dobbs should be re-signed. I mean how often do you come across a player who hits .370/.400/.519 as a pinch hitter? Trust me, it is not often. The problem is that Dobbs will probably want a two-year contract, which is understandable. While the Marlins are willing to spend money in the free-agency market, that doesn't mean they will do so on a bench player.
Jose Lopez if he re-signs with the Marlins it will be to a Minor League contract, meaning he will just be an insurance policy in Triple-A. Which is what he was this last season.
Let the offseason begin.