Sign a former prospect,an old vet, DFA a young pitcher,Cody Ross on the bubble.
Marlins sign Angels prospect Dallas McPherson
By Juan C. Rodriguez | Sun-Sentinel.com
7:57 PM EST, January 31, 2008
The Marlins gave themselves another third base option, signing former Los Angeles Angels prospect Dallas McPherson to a one-year, $425,000 deal Thursday.
McPherson, who the Angels non-tendered in December, will compete with Jose Castillo and non-roster invitee Jorge Cantu for the job vacated when the Marlins traded All-Star Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers.
"They said they wanted to bring in some guys to compete for that spot and they wanted me to be one of them," McPherson said.
Also on Thursday, the Marlins reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year, $2 million deal with outfielder Luis Gonzalez pending a physical. Entering his 19th year in the majors, Gonzalez turned 40 last September.
The Tampa-born Gonzalez has appeared in at least 130 games and totaled more than 460 at-bats in all but one of the last 13 seasons. Barring injury to a starting outfielder, Gonzalez will have a more diminished role with the Marlins.
"He's been around long enough to understand how to prepare," said first-base coach Andy Fox, a Gonzalez teammate on the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks. "That's one thing experience does. He's aware of the situation he's coming into and is prepared for that. Your fourth outfielder gets quite a few at-bats as well with injuries and things like that. I don't think it'll be that big of an adjustment for him."
The left-handed hitting Gonzalez, who is 498 hits shy of 3,000, is a career .277 pinch-hitter (23 for 83). He no longer possesses the range or arm to extensively play anywhere except left.
Whatever he lacks in on-field performance he can make up in clubhouse presence. Gonzalez is regarded among the more game's more amicable personalities.
"Having a guy with his credentials and the things he's accomplished in this game is invaluable," Fox said. "His impact on the field is as good as off the field and in the clubhouse. Anybody who's ever played with him understands what he's all about. He cares about winning and knows the game, and understands what it takes to be successful."
McPherson, 27, was building a nice track record before back injuries derailed his progress. He missed all of 2007 after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disc. In 2005, Baseball America ranked the left-handed hitting McPherson the 12th-best prospect in baseball based on his ability to hit for both power and average.
The Marlins began courting McPherson almost immediately after the Angels non-tendered him.
"Both parties just kind of stayed after it," said McPherson, who can earn an additional $25,000 for winning Comeback Player of the Year. "They were one of the first teams to call and pursue me, and make an offer. That meant a lot to me. They stayed in the hunt...In the end, we got back with Florida and the offer stood."
Both McPherson and Castillo have split contracts, so either can be sent to the minors assuming they are not out of options. Like Alfredo Amezaga, Castillo also can play short and second, and first and the outfield in a pinch. McPherson can play first as well.
If Cameron Maybin wins the center field job, the Gonzalez signing doesn't bode well for 40-man roster guys Cody Ross, Alejandro De Aza and Brett Carroll.
To accommodate McPherson on the 40-man, the Marlins designated left-hander Chris Seddon for assignment. The Marlins must remove another player from the roster once the Gonzalez deal becomes official.