The Miami Marlins are not expected to make any major free agent moves this offseason, as evidenced by the trade-off of their remaining major contracts in the mega-deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. But it seems the Marlins know that even their skeletal roster would look too embarrassing to put on the field, so it seems the team is interested in at least fortifying the roster with former decent players with hometown appeal. This seems to be the goal in signing former Marlin Juan Pierre to a one-year, $1.6 million deal.
Can confirm #Marlins and Juan Pierre have agreed to a one-year, $1.6M deal. Will ve for playing time in LF.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) November 18, 2012
This deal provides the Marlins the left fielder that they wanted to fill out their roster's immediate need, while also doing this on the very cheap. Pierre had a surprisingly good season last year, hitting .302/.351/.371 with 37 steals in 2012 with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 439 surprising PA, he accumulated 1.7 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement, and if the Marlins could count on him to do that again, the team would have surely found a bargain investment.
Unfortunately, just one season prior, Pierre had his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .279/.329/.327 (.296 wOBA) and playing just poorly enough defensively and on the bases to put up a below replacement level season. Due to that fact and his advanced age, Pierre still has a good chance of being below average in 2013. Nevertheless, given the lack of the Marlins' options in the outfield, as evidenced by the poor play from the replacement outfielders this year, any amount of help is better than none.