This offseason, Martín Prado is a free agent for the very first time. But facing slim odds of landing a guaranteed major league deal. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the former Marlins infielder is already preparing for his post-playing career.
Martin Prado has told friends he will likely retire. Very nice career, fine leader but last few years were injury plagued.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2019
In his age-35 season with the Fish, Prado slashed .233/.265/.294 in 260 plate appearances. The .559 OPS was a career low (his third straight year declining in that category). He started occasionally at both corner infield spots during the first half of the campaign, but his role was significantly reduced in August and September.
At least he went out on a high note—Prado clobbered his 100th career home run in the Marlins’ final regular season game. Close friend, fellow Venezuelan and “player-manager” for the day Miguel Rojas removed him for a defensive replacement in the later innings, which gave the fans and players in attendance an opportunity to express their gratitude.
Prado spent five seasons with the Marlins and 14 in the majors overall, including stints with the Braves, Diamondbacks and Yankees. Known for his contact skills, defensive versatility and unselfishness, he amassed 1,542 hits and 20.8 Wins Above Replacement (per FanGraphs). He was a 2010 NL All-Star selection with Atlanta and the Marlins’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee in both 2018 and 2019, recognizing his “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
More than 67% of Fish Stripes readers predicted that Prado would either go unsigned or retire this winter. (Polls are still open for other Marlins free agents)
Whatever the future brings for Prado (he’d make an excellent coach!), we wish him all the best.