UPDATE: It’s now official.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are close to signing Placido Polanco to a one-year, $2.75 million deal, which I suppose beats the other two old, not-very-good third basemen they were linked to yesterday: Miguel Tejada and Brandon Inge.
Polanco is 37 years old and has missed 112 of a possible 324 games during the past two seasons while hitting just .269 with a .323 on-base percentage and .334 slugging percentage. He hasn’t topped a .750 OPS since 2008.
Of course, most of the other available free agent third basemen are even less appealing and, if healthy, Polanco might still be capable of hitting .280 with a decent on-base percentage and above-average defense. Given his age and back problems that doesn’t seem particularly likely, but $2.75 million is a reasonable enough price tag and it’s not like the Marlins are trying to win anything in 2013 anyway.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.