The Marlins this morning completed the formality of signing pitcher Javier Vazquez to the one-year, $7 million that was agreed upon last week. There's a conference call at 10:30 with Vazquez and Marlins G.M. Mike Hill, so we'll have comments on the signing a little later.
Now, moving on to other business....
Officially, we'll know by tonight's 11:59 p.m. deadline which of their seven arbitration-eligible players the Marlins will tender contracts. Unofficially, though, you can count out catcher Ronny Paulino and, very possibly, reliever Jose Veras. Paulino became expendable when the Marlins signed John Buck, and Veras is being squeezed out of the picture by the addition of four new relievers.
The Marlins are expected to tender contracts to Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez, Burke Badenhop and Clay Hensley. Of the five, Nunez is the most interesting one of the bunch, as he stands to receive in the neighborhood of $4 million through the arbitration process. That's a lot of dough for the Marlins to shell out to a reliever who doesn't exactly breed confidence with his closing skills. The Marlins have never been big on paying big bucks for bullpen arms and the Vazquez signing pushed them over budget on payroll for 2011. As a result, it would not surprise me to see them attempt to unload Nunez, perhaps at the upcoming winter meetings that start Monday in Orlando. We'll see.