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The Marlins are ready to go

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To Spring Training that is.  Pitchers and Catchers report on the 16th of February.

President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Monday the Marlins are ready to open spring training as is. They still need to officially add outfielder Luis Gonzalez after reaching a preliminary agreement on a one-year deal last week.

"Seventy players in camp, that's a lot of people," Beinfest said. "We're pretty much there. I wouldn't anticipate a lot of action between now and spring training."

The Marlins conceivably could pluck another affordable, veteran arm for rotation depth from a list of remaining free agents that includes Bartolo Colon, Josh Fogg, Shawn Chacon, Tony Armas, Jeff Weaver and Odalis Perez.

Beinfest termed the rotation as "totally open," but added that he believes the Marlins possess enough quality and quantity pitching to find five worthy starters by Opening Day

I sincerely doubt that the Marlins will pursue any of the remaining free agents.

The rotation may be up for grabs but you can probably pencil in Olsen, Mitre, Miller and Hendrickson, in whatever order.  The fifth spot will probably be determined by if one of the injury recovering starters from 2006 is ready to go and if not, VandenHurk will have a leg up on the competition.

Center field, as we have discussed before, hinges on the health of Cody's hamstring and whether Maybin is truly ready for the big time.  Personally I'm hoping Cody is good to go and Maybin starts the season in the minors.  But who knows, maybe Cameron is ready for the prime time.  Spring training should give some hints.

The other position totally up for grabs is third base where McPherson, Cantu and Castillo will be battling it out.  I will be surprised if McPherson is the opening day third baseman for the Fish.  That's not to say he won't finish the season there, but the long layoff from the sport surely has to have taken some toll.

Some guy put out his Marlins preview list, and did a decent job considering he is a Rangers fan.

Morisato's Florida Marlins Preview

He was doing pretty good, though I disagree with Maybin and McPherson being in the lineup and he uses the lowest common denominator to describe Olsen.  But for the most part, not bad, or at least until you get to this:

Luis Gonzalez (LF/1B) - Gonzalez shifts to a mentor/backup role, where he'll likely see some time in left and first base, depending on the needs of the team.  I like Gonzalez being a full time starter in left, while allowing Josh Willingham to catch.  It would be a much stronger offensive unit, though defensively it would be rather rough at first.

Now, I'm not going to beat up that statement since it is like shooting ducks on a pond and he, overall, did a lot better than I could with the Rangers.  The main purpose of bringing this up is that Fox Sports now offers blogging, which was news to me.  If you are interested in starting a blog and MLBlogs, Blogger, etc. aren't your game, you may want to checkout Fox Sports.  I didn't go through the motions of setting one up, but if you do, let me know and I will link to you.  However, that does not relieve of your duties to come here from time to time.

(Caveat: the immediate above isn't in anyway to encourage you to start blogging.  I'm long past my misery loves company days, but it just to let you know what is being offered.)