JUPITER -- The big mystery surrounding the surplus of relievers in the Marlins bullpen is now resolved. The team optioned right-hander Burke Badenhop to Triple A New Orleans, which all but sets the 25-man roster for Opening Day.
While 26 players remain in camp, it's all but certain that catcher John Baker will go on the disabled list as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
Badenhop, who signed for $750,000 over the winter, was the odd man out in a crowded bullpen. But he was one of the three relievers (along with Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn) with minor-league options, and was therefore vulnerable.
So, barring any trades between now and Friday, here's how the Opening Day roster should look for the 2011 Marlins: Gaby Sanchez, Omar Infante, Hanley Ramirez, Donnie Murphy, Emilio Bonifacio, Greg Dobbs, Mike Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Logan Morrison, Scott Cousins, Wes Helms, Brett Hayes and John Buck, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Leo Nunez, Clay Hensley, Mike Dunn, Randy Choate, Brian Sanches, Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica.
"He has options," Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations, explained of the decision involving Badenhop. "(It) can be put into the 'not fair' category, but we weren't prepared to trade one of our relievers or put them on the waiver wire."