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The Marlins Free Agents

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Since the team was so young last year, we have very few Marlins free agents to talk about this off-season.

In case you didn't know it the Marlins 2006 free agency class consist of only four players: RHP Joe Borowski, RHP Matt Herges, RHP Brian Moehler and INF Wes Helms.

The team will try to bring Helms back into the fold if the price is right.  The same can be said about Borowski but the Marlins propensity to sign only one year deals, may prove to be determent in the negotiations of retaining either of the two.

If a deal can't be reached with any of the above free agents, what are the other possibilities.

The first important thing to consider is where the free agent declarers stand on the market.  Leaving aside that everyone and their dog is looking for bullpen help or a potential infield starter/utility man with the ability to pinch hit off the bench with power.  Let's look at it from the Marlins point of view, in arbitration terms, if a deal can't be struck.

Elias released their official rankings of free agents and thus letting the team know what the potential compensation would be if they couldn't reach an agreement with the player and offered salary arbitration.

The four Marlins rank as follows:

Joe Borowski - Type A
Matt Herges - NC
Brian Moehler- NC
Wes Helms - NC

(NC - is defined as no compensation if the team were to offer the salary arbitration and it was rejected by the player.)

So, for three of the free agents it makes no sense to offer arbitration if the team decides to pursue them for next season's roster.  The only player who might be offered arbitration is Borowski.

If a Type A free agent is offered salary arbitration and the player rejects the offer, the club would receive compensation for losing the player.

In the case of Borowski, the Marlins would receive two compensation picks - depending on which other major league team signed him.

It breaks down accordingly:

  • If a team that finished in the top 15 in 2006 signs another team's "A" player, it must surrender its first-round pick in the 2007 amateur draft to the losing team.
  • If the signing team was in the bottom 15, it must give up its second-round pick.
  • Teams that lose an "A" player also get a "sandwich" pick, which comes between the first and second rounds.

Early draft picks will be somewhat less expensive to sign given the new CBA.  (Which I plan to write about all the changes once the final agreement is formalized.)  But they still remain risky, see Jeff Allison.  So it is entirely possible that the Marlins wouldn't want to risk a big arbitration settlement or spend the cash, should they be rejected, on a totally unproven player with their limited funds.

Plus we need a center fielder, from somewhere.  Keep tearing up the AFL Mr. Carroll, it may be yours for the taking.