According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, a number of teams are interested in the services of Kevin Youkilis, the premier third base option on the free agent market. Even following Youkilis's worst season in the majors (.235/.336/.409, .328 wOBA) at the plate, he has still drawn interest from at least nine major league teams apparently.
Count the Miami Marlins as one of those teams, as they are interested in the free agent slugger to fill in their third base position.
The Indians, Phillies and Dodgers are looking to upgrade their production at third base and have shown preliminary interest in Youkilis, according to major-league sources. The Mariners and Marlins — the majors’ two worst teams this year in first-base production — have checked in on Youkilis, as well.
Of course, this means nothing in terms of what the Marlins will eventually do, but it does offer some light encouragement. After a nightmarish 2012 season, the team decided to cut payroll, and there was some thought that the Marlins, despite saying they were interested in an $80 million payroll, would not spend the money they saved in trading the salaries they dealt at midseason. The news that the Marlins are at least interested in Youkilis, one of the reasonable free agent options this season for the Fish, has to at least encourage fans that the team is willing to spend on the 2013 edition of the team.
If the Marlins do pursue Youkilis, it would seem as though the team is planning on buying in 2013 to set themselves up for the future. Acquiring Youkilis will not make the Marlins a contender, but it does solve a significant hole for the next two or three years. If the contract is reasonable, this would be a good move for the Marlins.