On Wednesday afternoon, the Miami Marlins announced several minor league signings, one of which involved Kevin Slowey. Slowey will likely have the opportunity to earn a starting rotation spot with a solid Spring Training performance.
Matt Eddy of Baseball America was the first to report the deal.
#Marlins sign five to minor league deals: RHPs Kevin Slowey & Craig Westcott, LHP Jose Gonzalez, 2B/OF Jordany Valdespin and OF Joe Benson.— Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) January 8, 2014
Tom Koehler, Brad Hand, and Brian Flynn, like Slowey, will be trying to earn a starting job. Miami is expected to open the season with a rotation featuring Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez, with Jacob Turner remaining a candidate for the fourth spot.
Slowey was 3-6 with a 4.11 ERA last season for the Marlins. He began the season as Miami's most consistent starter, ending the month of April with one of the National League's best ERAs. MLB Trade Rumors notes that with the progress of prospects Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino, Slowey, if he doesn't make the team, gives the Marlins a veteran option if a starter gets injured.
The 29-year-old Slowey pitched 92 1/3 innings for the Marlins in 2013, posting a 4.11 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and a minuscule 28.7 percent ground-ball rate. Slowey has always been an extreme fly-ball pitcher but has long boasted elite command as well, as evidenced by his career 1.5 BB/9 rate. Last season marked his first big league action in a uniform other than that of the Minnesota Twins, who selected him out of Winthrop University in the second round of the 2005 draft.
Miami has been known to add a veteran reliever before Spring Training, and for the second consecutive year will see how Slowey performs before the start of the season. Slowey can also be a long relief option, a role he is familiar with after a brief stint in the bullpen last season before he was placed on the DL with forearm discomfort on July 28
Slowey refused a minor league assignment after the season.
MLB.com reported the signings of outfielder Matt Angle and pitchers Jesus Sanchez and Josh Spence. Spence could be a left-handed relief option for the Marlins.
The Marlins were looking to add a lefty reliever candidate, and Spence will get a look. A native of Australia, Spence has 51 games of MLB experience when he was with the Padres in 2011-12.
Eddy's report as well as that of MLB.com also made the signings of Jordany Valdespin and Joe Benson official.