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Marlins acquire Luis Gonzalez and Dallas McPherson

If you read yesterday's Chum Bucket, you already know that Luis Gonzalez and Dallas McPherson are the newest additions to the Marlins roster.  (In the case of Gonzo, pending a physical.  McPherson, I'm not sure about the physical.)

For those of you who missed the news, we will start with Luis Gonzalez first:

The Marlins and Gonzalez, a 40-year-old outfielder, have agreed on a one-year contract that will pay Gonzalez $2 million. The contract contains incentive bonuses, ones based on plate appearances, that could raise the total to as much as $3 million.

What is uncertain is how the Marlins intend to use Gonzalez, who has spent most of his 18 seasons in the major leagues playing left field, a position that belongs to Josh Willingham.


Gonzalez's agent, Gregg Clifton, said the Marlins told him their plans are to use Gonzalez in the outfield and at first base, but did not guarantee a starting job. Gonzalez has played just five of his 2,455 games in the majors at first base, where Mike Jacobs appears set to return.

Gonzalez's bonus is based on the number of plate appearances.  The incentive bonus kicks in at 250 PA and at 500 PA he gets the full million.

In yesterday's Chum Bucket everyone gave their well thought out opinion.  Here's mine, except that it isn't well thought out.  The signing of Gonzalez was just one of those strange things the Marlins do from time to time.  He's Loria's guy.

Remember last season when the club decided it had to get a veteran closer on the staff no matter what.  The Julio experiment had already failed miserably and he was traded away.  The bullpen was doing a good job with Gregg closing, Miller in the setup role and Gardner, Lindstrom, et al filling in admirably where needed.  And then for unknown reasons they gave Randy Messenger to the Giants to get Benitez.  As you all remember, Benitez wasn't needed at the time of the transaction and it took several games to finally convince the powers that be, that the bullpen was just fine without Benitez.  So eventually the younger guys were put back into their roles.

This signing is the same thing.  

Now here is the problem, with Gonzo being Loria's guy, he is going to get more plate appearances than he will probably deserve.  At this point in his career he can only play left field and first base.  If he accepts his role as a backup and pinch hitter, he could fit in.  If he starts clamoring for playing time, this could lead to a problem.

The absolute most important thing is that he doesn't take at bats away from a healthy Willingham, Jacobs or Cody.  The young guys are our future, potentially.  And they don't need to be riding the pine in deference to someone who will wear the Marlins uniform for just one year.

The other signing is Dallas McPherson.

The Marlins signed infielder Dallas McPherson to a one-year contract, bolstering the competition for the starting job at third base. The Angels' second-round draft pick in 2001, McPherson missed the 2007 season after having back surgery to remove a herniated disk.

McPherson, a left-handed hitter, has a .247 career average with 18 home runs in 117 games over three seasons with the Angels.

"I look forward to getting Dallas into camp and having some competition over at third base," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

To make room on their 40-man roster, the Marlins designated left-hander Chris Seddon for assignment.

McPherson, who is 27 and will be 28 in July, was once a top prospect for the Angels but his career has been derailed by injuries and he was non-tendered by the club that drafted him.  It's been about a year and a half since he has played ball in the big leagues.

The important thing to remember is that he is not the same player who once graced Baseball America's Top Prospects list.  It remains to be seen how his back surgery has affected his stroke, if at all.  And how well he can move on defense.

Since he signed a split contract, don't be surprised if he ends up in the minors initially to work on his game.

But he is well worth taking a chance on to see if he can regain his form.