Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you can catch and throw a baseball across the diamond, and occasionally hit big league pitching, the Miami Marlins may have a starting job for you at third base.
All kidding aside, the Marlins are in dire need of a starting third baseman heading into next season. The team jettisoned last year’s initial third baseman in a mid-season trade and then after landing a high-priced third baseman in the team-obliterating deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Marlins traded the third baseman again.
How bad is the Marlins third baseman search? According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Marlins are taking a look at 38-year-old Miguel Tejada in winter ball and have “kicked the tires on Placido Polanco, 37, and Brandon Inge, 35.
Tejada didn’t play in the majors last season and played in just 91 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2011. Inge played in just more than half of the Oakland A’s games last year and was just above the Mendoza line in hitting.
Polanco may be the best of a bad bunch, playing in 90 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012 while hitting .257 with an OPS of .629. Polanco hit .298 in 2010 and .277 with the Phillies, so his production is in a decline.
The Marlins are widely expected to be the worst team in baseball in 2013.
If the season started today, the Marlins could have the following lineup: Rob Brantley, catcher; Logan Morrison, first base; Donovan Solano, second base; a shortstop to be named later; Greg Dobbs, third base; Juan Pierre, left field; Justin Ruggiano, center field; and Giancarlo Stanton, right field.
The Marlins starting rotation as of Wednesday looked something like this: Ricky Nolasco, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner, and a fifth starter, possibly Brad Hand or Alex Sanabia.
The Marlins have some promising talent in the minor leagues including relief pitcher Jose Fernandez, outfielder Christian Yelich, and starting pitcher Justin Nicolino.