The Miami Marlins were able to avoid arbitration with former closer Juan Carlos Oviedo earlier this week, reaching a one-year, $6 million agreement with the 29-year-old. Still, Oviedo’s future remains uncertain as he continues to work out his visa issues. On top of that, it’s now being reported that the Marlins are expected to try and trade Oviedo before the spring.
The Marlins have told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that they expect Oviedo to have his visa issues resolved by the spring. By that time, the question will likely not be whether or not Oviedo will be cleared to play in the United States but with which team he will be playing for in 2012.
Rodriguez reports that, with the addition of free agent closer Heath Bell, Oviedo would make for an extremely pricey setup man. Miami has increased salary this winter, but Rodriguez isn’t sure if the club would want to retain Oviedo in that role for that price.
The most obvious option would be for the Marlins to trade Oviedo, though the market for his services is unclear. After Bell and Jonathan Papelbon signed large deals early in free agency, the market for closers has been slow to develop. It’s unknown if teams view Oviedo as a finisher or an 8th inning arm, and if he’s not a closer his price would again become an issue for prospective suitors.
Last season for the Marlins Oviedo maintained an ERA of 4.06 over his 68 appearances and 64 1/3 innings pitched, recording 36 saves over that span. In his three seasons as the Marlins closer Oviedo has an ERA and WHIP of 3.86 and 1.247 to go with his SO/9 of 8.5 and BB/9 of 3.1.
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