Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins betting on Placido Polanco


Despite having concerns about his back, the Marlins signed two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner Placido Polanco to a one-year deal Thursday.

The Marlins’ attempts to fill out a lineup under the constraints of baseball’s lowest payroll has led them to a former American League Championship Series MVP who experienced back problems and declining production last season.

The Marlins signed Placido Polanco to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Thursday, with the hope he will not have a recurrence of the back problems that limited him to 17 games and 40 at-bats for the Phillies after the All-Star break last season.

The Marlins had concerns about Polanco’s back, but he passed a physical this week.

Polanco, 37, went on the disabled list with lower-back inflammation on Sept. 7 and finished the season there. He closed the year with a .257 average, two homers and 19 RBI in 90 games.

The Marlins hope they’re getting closer to the player who hit .277 with five homers and 50 RBI in 2011 and .298 with six homers and 52 RBI in 2010.

But his number of games has diminished since 2009, from 153 to 132 to 122 to 90.

Polanco has won three Gold Gloves, at second base in 2007 and 2009 and at third base in 2011, when he committed eight errors and became only the second player to win the award at more than one position, joining Daren Erstad. He had only two errors in 80 games at third base last season.

Polanco, who resides in Miami during the offseason and attended Miami-Dade Community College, was voted a starter in the All-Star Game in 2007 and 2011, won the 2007 American League Silver Slugger award for second basemen and was the 2006 ALCS MVP.

Overall, Polanco has hit .299 with 103 homers and 700 RBI in 15 seasons, with St. Louis, Detroit and Philadelphia. He passed the 2000 hit threshold last May.

The Phillies declined his $5.5 million option in October, opting to pay him a $1 million buyout instead.

Among third basemen, Greg Dobbs and journeyman Kevin Kouzmanoff also will be in camp for the Marlins, who prefer to use Dobbs as a fill-in player and pinch hitter.

Polanco’s signing firms up the Marlins lineup, unless they make any more trades.

Miami likely will go with Logan Morrison at first base, Donovan Solano at second, Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop, Polanco at third, Juan Pierre in left field, Justin Ruggiano in center, Giancarlo Stanton in right and Rob Brantly catching.

Ricky Nolasco presumably will be the Opening Day starting pitcher unless he’s traded, with Jacob Turner, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi and perhaps Wade LeBlanc or Brad Hand or Alex Sanabia filling out the rotation.

Marlins prospects

Right-handed pitcher Jose Fernandez topped Baseball America’s annual list of the top 10 Marlins prospects. Fernandez is followed by outfielder Christian Yelich; left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney; outfielder Jake Marisnick; outfielder Marcell Ozuna; left-hander pitcher Justin Nicolino; Hechavarria; right-handed pitcher Jose Urena; catcher J.T. Realmuto; and left-hander Adam Conley.

Marisnick, Nicolino and Hechavarria were acquired last month in the trade that sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes to Toronto.

Read more Top Sports Stories stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category