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Francisco Rodriguez may be costly, Phil Coke seeking major league deal

The 33-year old Rodriguez is reportedly asking for a lot, while Coke has sought a major league contract since the offseason began.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Miami knows where it stands with agent Scott Boras, and the relationship between Boras and the organization could lead to the completion or rejection of another deal. A long term contract with starter Jose Fernandez is unlikely because Boras encourages his clients to explore free agency, and according to The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson, free agent Francisco Rodriguez, another Boras client, may be too expensive for Miami.

Miami has spoken with Scott Boras about free agent Francisco Rodriguez, who had 44 saves for Milwaukee in 2014, but they’re asking for more than what Miami is willing to pay

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After extending Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins sought to improve their lineup and starting rotation, and rightfully did not feel the need to address the bullpen immediately. Led by closer Steve Cishek and setup men A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn, and Bryan Morris, Miami had one of baseball's better units in 2014. The club's bullpen is expected to be strong again in 2015, however adding another arm should prove to be beneficial moving forward.

Rodriguez, 33, posted a 3.04 ERA and 4.50 FIP in 68.0 innings pitched with the Brewers a season ago. He also closed 44 games, and would add an experienced arm to the back of a rather youthful bullpen. Cishek will serve as the Marlins' closer, but adding Rodriguez would be valuable in the event that Cishek gets overworked or enters a tie game in the ninth inning. Morris, Dunn, and Ramos can all pitch in the seventh or eighth inning, but Rodriguez could also work the eighth, which could make the back end of Miami's bullpen among the best in baseball.

Despite the fact that Rodriguez has been a reliable closing option over the last few seasons, since the Marlins do not want to sign him to be their closer, the club does not want to pay him like one. The Marlins saved $1 million by winning their arbitration case with Mat Latos, and saved close to $500,000 by winning their case with David Phelps. While the amount Rodriguez is seeking in unclear, if the asking price gets too high, if it has not already, the Marlins' lack of interest would be justified considering the circumstances. Boras seeks notably high offers for his clients, and Milwaukee or Toronto might be more realistic since both clubs are still seeking closers.

Although Rodriguez may be too expensive for the Marlins, Jackson confirmed an report that indicated Miami may also be interested in adding Phil Coke on a minor league deal.

As noted, the Marlins have interest in free agent lefty Phil Coke (5-2, 3.88 ERA for Detroit last season) if he's willing to accept a minor-league deal.

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The Marlins do not have a notable amount of left-handed relief depth, and as a result, adding Coke may be beneficial. The issue with Coke is the type of contract he will receive, though, since he has reportedly sought a major league deal since the end of the season. Coke is a durable lefty arm, but the Marlins likely feel adding him on a major league deal would be questionable because he may not be guaranteed a roster spot.

Ultimately, the Marlins can improve their bullpen by adding Rodriguez and Coke. But if either or both of the relievers gets too costly, Miami likely will consider other options.