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Randy Choate a Marlin?

Randy Choate may soon be a Marlin.

With the Marlins maxed out in payroll at $58 million, they might make only one more move -- a left-handed reliever -- and only if it's cheap (perhaps Randy Choate or Joe Beimel). Marlins general manager Michael Hill said the team wants to keep John Baker as a left-handed bat off the bench even if he's not ready to throw, in March, off elbow surgery. The bench could be Baker, Wes Helms,Emilio Bonifacio (if he doesn't beat out Matt Dominguez to start), a third catcher (Brett Hayes) and an outfielder (perhaps Scott Cousins).

Brett Hayes wouldn't be the third catcher, but the second.  But before we dissect all of what was said above, let's look at the LOOGY situation.

Ken Rosenthal had this to say on twitter.

Ken Rosenthal


, still looking for bullpen help, working to sign free-agent LHP Randy Choate.  

Then it was reported that the Marlins aren't the only ones in the hunt.

Reliever Randy Choate on Sunday night confirmed a report that he's in talks with the Marlins. Chote said the Rays remain "in the mix" along with three other teams he declined to name.

I have no idea why the Marlins feel they need a 35 year-old LOOGY.  Yes, he is good at getting lefties out and he is relatively cheap considering he only earned $700,000 last season.  However, the Marlins have added two lefties to the staff in the way of trades, Mike Dunn and Dustin Richardson.  While the pair have had their problems in the past, they may be able to move beyond them.  And even if they can't, the team has a fair number of right-handed relievers who can get lefties out.  I just don't see the need to add a pitcher who only throws to one or two hitters against the other team.

Now let's go back to the Barry Jackson statement.

Emilio Bonifiacio will never beat Matt Dominguez out at third.  Third is Dominguez's to win or the lose.  He will either be with the Marlins or in the Minors, but either way, he will play everyday.  The problem facing Matt is whether he can hit Major League pitching.  How one proves that in Spring Training has always been a mystery to me.  But nonetheless, if Dominguez wins the spot that sends Bonifacio to the bench, where he belongs, at best.  Which also sends Scott Cousins down to the minors since Bonifacio can sorta play the outfield.  The final bench spot could presumably then fall to Donnie Murphy, assuming his wrist is healthy.

These are things that will be worked in Spring Training, but I will say this: if Donnie Murphy is healthy and he is not on the 25-man roster, I will be pissed.  And I don't think that I am the only one.