The Marlins have signed a speedy, All-Star shortstop in Jose Reyes, who when paired with Emilio Bonifacio - who will most likely be competing with Scott Cousins and Bryan Petersen - will be the incredible top of the lineup one-two punch that we had in the Pierre/Castillo era of the Marlins.
We signed an All-Star reliever in Heath Bell, who is a closer capable of racking up saves with a consistency that we haven't had since 2004 when we brought in Armando Benitez, who holds the Marlins record for saves in a year with 47 saves, not to mention the fact that he brings a lot of excitement and personality to the bullpen, can you imagine him and Edward Mujica combining to be the clowns of the bullpen? It'd be hard to be bored out there.
We signed an All-Star left-handed starter in Mark Buehrle, who is great friends with our new manager Ozzie Guillen, and he's an incredibly consistent starter who is capable of going out there every time and giving us a chance to win. He pitched a no-hitter on April 18, 2007, which only further proves his reputation.
Our most recent transaction is also a rather large gain if he works out. We traded the young Chris Volstad for the fiery Carlos Zambrano, who has a good reputation as a pitcher, and like Buehrle, he threw a no-hitter as well, his was thrown on September 14, 2008. His bad reputation regarding his temper can hopefully be erased with a new team, and a manager who he gets along with in Ozzie Guillen.
So just this off-season, we've managed to bolster both our offense and defense with the Reyes signing, we've upped the ante on the bullpen with the signing of Bell, and our rotation is projected to be even stronger than last years with Josh Johnson, Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, and Zambrano, three of these pitchers - Sanchez on 9/6/06, Buehrle on 4/18/07, Zambrano on 9/14/08 - threw no-hitters in their career.
And of course that isn't even counting all the smaller transactions we've made. We signed a former All-Star in Aaron Rowand to a Minor League deal and we'll see what he's got in Spring Training.
We signed a reliever in Chad Gaudin to a Minor League deal, who'll be looking to redeem himself in Spring Training.
We signed Nick Green to a Minor League deal, who'll be competing for a utility infield spot with Donnie Murphy.
We signed our biggest bench asset from last year - Greg Dobbs - to a two-year deal worth 3 million dollars, which gives us back a left-handed bat off the bench who we know can step up and start if necessary.
Phew...well after all that, we'd assume that the Marlins are pretty much set for the year right? Hmm...well I don't think so. Something's still bothering me...ahh yes, it's the catcher position. By trading Baker, we gained a left-handed pitcher but we lost our platooning catcher option. And with all due respect to Brett Hayes, I don't feel comfortable with him as the backup.
So I say...there's a 40 year old catcher who was with us in 2003 and was an indispensable member of the World Series squad, he's a 14 time All-Star, and he's looking for a job. His name? Ivan Rodriguez. Most of the reasoning for this fan wish list (fan wish because the Marlins don't even seem interested) is because of nostalgia, everyone loved Pudge, everyone wanted Pudge back, every time Pudge was available fans screamed for Pudge, so now he's available again, and at 40 years old, he isn't going to force any team to make him a starter.
Now thinking with the team in mind, Pudge is pretty much a legendary catcher who'll be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame someday, he's smart, he's wise, he'd be a good influence on young pitchers, and could probably help (if you think I'm gonna say Brett Hayes think again) John Buck with his approach to throwing runners out since Buck would be playing the majority of the games, although he wouldn't exactly hinder Hayes either.
Pudge does have a few drawbacks though, number one obviously is his age, he's 40. His power's gone down, his defense probably hasn't deteriorated much but then again he's 40 so...there's that factor.
The other factor is he got hurt last year, missing two months of the 2011 season with an oblique strain, but even then Pudge was influential and he helped a man named Wilson Ramos to gain the potential to become a force one day.
Pudge definitely wouldn't be a money factor, seeing as he signed a two-year deal with Washington for only 6 million dollars, and he's still looking to get his milestone of 3000 hits. He's got 156 hits left to go, why don't we welcome him back to the Marlin family and let him get that milestone with the team he got his only World Series ring with?
And on a less vital note, our Minor League is extremely limited at this point, and there's only one guy we have left that we're willing to part with. Oviedo - formerly Leo Nunez could be traded to restock the Minors, and if not, we can still use his fastball in a setup role.
There are so many things we could still do, every fan in the world has a wish list during the offseason, the last things on my list, is hopefully to trade Oviedo, and the less realistic scenario, signing Pudge. Now my poll, would signing Pudge be good or bad? Discuss, maybe if enough people say yes, the fanbase as a whole can convince the FO to sign him, who knows?