On Tuesday, the Miami Marlins announced that they had signed reliever Juan Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) to a one year, $6 million deal. This agreement keeps the Marlins and Oviedo from needing to go to arbitration.â†µ
Sometimes I really don't understand the Marlins. While I wholeheartedly agreed with their strategy to go berserk in signing free agents this offseason -- the fans will come for the new park, but won't stick around without wins -- there's something slightly ridiculous about paying an average reliever $6 million. Add in the fact that the pitcher can't legally enter the United States at the moment, and things just go from weird to inane.
Make no mistake: Oviedo is no star pitcher. He get his fare share of strikeouts (18.9% career strikeout rate) and he's good at avoiding walks (7,7% career walk rate), but he's not quite good enough to enter the upper echelon of relief pitchers. He's posted a 4.06 ERA in two of the previous three seasons, and his status as a "proven closer" is the biggest reason why he's receiving such a hefty contract.â†µ
Oviedo was deported from the US last season after it came out that he was playing under an assumed name, but the Marlins believe that Juan Oviedo will have his visa issues straightened out in time for spring training. Even assuming that's true, though, then what? The Marlins are still paying two reliever -- Oviedo and closer Heath Bell -- a combined $15 million next season. If that seems a tad excessive to you, you're not alone.â†µ
Oh well, it's not my money. Oviedo will make the Marlins a better team; I just wish the Marlins weren't paying him so much.â†µ