The Miami Marlins have always been known for shopping primarily for bargains. Aside from a short spending spree in 2012, the Fish under owner Jeffrey Loria have been very scrupulous in their spending. Thus, Miami is unlikely to be going after the big names in free agency this offseason, though they have recently shown interest in Mike Napoli.
So if the Fish are going hunting for bargains, what better time to do this than on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year? Here are four names the Marlins can still look into as we head into a busy Christmas shopping season.
The Marlins are definitely considering Navarro after his season with the Chicago Cubs. There is overwhelming history against him with regards to his offensive ability, especially since a lion's share of his 2013 line of .300/.365/.492 (.374 wOBA) came at home in Wrigley Field (.336/.414/.595). Navarro is not a good defender, but Miami is not really looking for a defender. The team wants someone who can hit next to their "defensive ace" backup Jeff Mathis, and in particular the team wants someone who can face righties regularly. Navarro is a switch hitter, so he fits the bill opposite the right-handed Mathis, but he is also a .245/.303/.346 (.287 wOBA) career hitter versus righties and a significantly better hitter versus lefties, so he may not be a true switch hitter.
The Marlins would be interested in Navarro at the right price. A two- or even three-year deal for less than $5 million per season would be fitting, with something like two years and $8 million total being a perfect fit.
It is difficult to tell what the 36-year-old Chavez wants from his career at this point. He was with the New York Yankees for two seasons once he returned from injury, but he signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, so it is not as though he is fully in ring-chasing mode right now. He has hit a very respectable .276/.336/.456 in the last three seasons with the Yankees and Diamondbacks, so he may still ahve some bat left. He has also lost his Gold Glove of the past and is a below average contributor at third base.
But the Marlins are looking for offense, and they could do worse than a lefty who has hit 27 homers in his last 742 plate appearances. The question is whether Chavez would be interested in a full-platoon role on a bad team, or if he would rather take on a bench role for a potential contender. If he would like the role, the Marlins can sign a one-year deal with him at around $3 million or $4 million.
For one and a half seasons, McGehee was pretty good. For two seasons after that, he was terrible, and that led to him being non-tendered and eventually going to Japan. He had a monster season in Japan, however, hitting 27 homers and batting .285/.370/.502. He now wants back into the United States and Major League Baseball, and the Marlins could be just the team to give him that opportunity. McGehee was always known primarily for power, as he has hit 18 homers per 600 plate appearances for his career. But the rest of his skill set is weak, including his defense at third base; he was moved primarily to first base at the end of his last Major League stint.
This would be an especially cheap deal for the Fish. McGehee probably could not get anything more than a minor league deal or a minimum Major League contract, while he could make more money in Japan. He has interest and would like to return to the States, but he may opt for more cash in Japan.
A few years ago, Reynolds was a starting first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, and he was not a very good first baseman. He also has never been a very good third baseman defensively. Prior to 2012, his offense was good enough to compensate for that; Reynolds once posted a 44-homer campaign in 2009. But now it seems obvious that his Three True Outcomes skills just are not good enough to make up for all of his deficiencies, which is why he is on the bargain bin. If the Marlins really want power, Reynolds has it in spades; even in his worst year at the plate last year, he still hit 21 home runs.
But he seemingly cannot do anything else, and that has led to his current predicament. Reynolds got a one-year deal worth $6 million last season, and that was a "prove it" contract. He failed to prove it, which means the Fish could probably have him for $2 million or so. Then again, would he be worth even that small price at third base?