The minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training is a staple of annual season prep. Every MLB team utilizes this sort of contract—no risk/potentially high reward. Whether the expectations for that year are nonexistent, World Series or bust, or anywhere in between, it’s important to have competition in camp and Triple-A depth once the real games get underway.
Particularly in 2019, the Marlins had a solid hit rate on their NRIs. Jon Berti, Harold Ramirez and Bryan Holaday each emerged as impactful role players. Berti and Ramirez were retained throughout the offseason and enter the new year with strong chances of cracking the Opening Day roster.
However, there is usually a reason why these newcomers enter camp without a guarantee. Maybe they’re at the end of their careers or have stalled out at the high MiLB levels. They’re trying to challenge themselves after time spent in overseas leagues or asking for a change of scenery because their previous employer didn’t offer a fair shot at The Show. Trying to get reestablished after a severe injury? Sure, we’ll take a flier on you.
Most NRIs ultimately fail to pan out. You see them in the Grapefruit League box scores, then they disappear. Nonetheless, they technically played for the Marlins and shouldn’t be forgotten.
Let’s attempt to remember some guys together (DON’T CHEAT). Spring stats and photos are provided below for nine players who were signed/acquired by the Marlins in recent years. Answer key in the comments section.
Marlins Spring Training stats: .333/.381/.513, 6 RBI in 39 AB (27 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .324/.400/.647, 10 RBI in 34 AB (21 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: 7.50 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 4 K in 6.0 IP (6 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .239/.321/.304, 5 RBI, 46 AB (27 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: 3.68 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 6 K in 7.1 IP (7 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .250/.323/.429, 5 RBI, 28 AB (24 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .176/.222/.324, 5 RBI in 34 AB (26 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .333/.333/.333, 0 RBI in 3 AB (3 G)
Marlins Spring Training stats: .277/.346/.553, 11 RBI in 47 AB (27 G)