(UPDATE: It's official. At 11:35 p.m. the Marlins announced they did not tender a contract to Alfredo Amezaga. They also avoided arbitration with catcher Ronny Paulino by agreeing to a one-year contract for $1.1 million, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Not sure at this point if the contract includes performance incentives. The other eight arbitration-eligible players were tendered. They are Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu and Renyel Pinto.)
No surprise here. The Marlins did not tender a contract to super utility player Alfredo Amezaga, who now becomes a free agent.
Still no word on the other nine arbitration-eligible players as the 11:59 p.m. deadline approaches.
Amezaga's agent, Mike Nicotera, said he and his client were notified about 8:45 p.m. by Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill.
"I think Alfredo told Larry, "I just want to thank you for allowing me to play in the big leagues with you guys,'" Nicotera said.
Nicotera said the Marlins made it clear that "they have not closed the door" on Amezaga. But he said Amezaga would explore the market.
Amezaga missed most of last season with a knee injury that required microfracture surgery. Through the arbitration process, Amezaga would have received a slight raise on his 2009 salary of $1.3 million, making him a risk the Marlins were not willing to take. The Marlins might be willing to sign Amezaga at a reduced price.
It's expected the Marlins will tender offers to all of their other arbitration-eligible players, though Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com tweeted earlier that the team was undecided about catcher Ronny Paulino.