Miami is considering adding pitching depth, however one of the club's final preseason moves added minor league depth for the bullpen. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Nick Masset agreed to a Triple-A contract with the Marlins after not making the major league club. Masset was released by the Marlins on March 31 after learning he would not be on the Opening Day roster.
After signing with the Marlins in January, Masset allowed nine earned runs and struck out three in 11 innings with the club this spring. He also allowed four walks and will now have an opportunity to become consistent in New Orleans.
Masset, 32, spent 2014 pitching for Colorado. In 45 innings, he posted a 5.80 ERA and 4.33 FIP while appearing in 51 games. Last season was Masset's first after taking a two-year absence because of shoulder issues and throacic outlet syndrome, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Masset's .371 average on balls in play was also the third highest among pitchers who had thrown at least 40 innings.
Masset was also solid as a setup man for the Reds. He pitched to a 3.05 ERA in four seasons with Cincinnati, and was notably efficient in 2009 when he posted a 2.37 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 76.0 innings. Masset signed a two-year, $5.5 million extension with the Reds but was unable to pitch for the organization after the two sides agreed on a deal.
Miami's opening day bullpen included Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, Brad Hand, and David Phelps. However, should any of the Marlins' relievers go down, Masset is an option to be promoted. The Marlins lost Preston Claiborne, who is out with a shoulder injury, and Aaron Crow, who is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery. Frisaro noted the Marlins are still open to adding pitching depth, although prospects Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino could also see time in the Marlins bullpen in 2015. Resigning Masset assures the Marlins they will have a veteran option should they require a reliever at some point in 2015.