Should Marlins add K-Rod to the bullpen?

Veteran reliever saved 44 games last season, but Miami might stay put

Should Marlins add K-Rod to the bullpen?

MIAMI -- Stay put or add another bullpen piece before Spring Training starts? It's a question the Marlins are trying to answer.

If Miami does nothing else, the club is pleased with its collection of relievers already assembled. But Francisco Rodriguez, who saved 44 games with the Brewers last year, remains on the market, and he gives the Marlins something to think about. The 33-year-old is coming off an All-Star season in which he made $3.25 million. He's put himself in line for a raise.

General manager Dan Jennings on Sunday told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that Miami is open to adding another piece or two before Spring Training begins on Feb. 20.

If signed, Rodriguez would be a setup option for Steve Cishek. K-Rod also is a proven closer, and he can handle that role in case of an emergency. Weighing in favor of signing Rodriguez is the fact the Marlins have put together a contending club. He could be a nice final piece.

A five-time All-Star, Rodriguez was a World Series champion at age 20 with the Angels in 2002. On the flip side, if Rodriguez's price tag is too high, the Marlins may stay with what they have and apply their resources to fill another need at some point during the season.

Miami's bullpen already is strong. Cishek is a proven closer, and lefty Mike Dunn just signed a two-year, $5.8 million deal to avoid arbitration. A.J. Ramos and Bryan Morris are eighth-inning candidates. Aaron Crow, obtained in a trade with the Royals, also is a setup option.

Cishek slams the door

Two starting-pitching candidates may wind up in the bullpen. If Tom Koehler secures a spot in the starting five, then lefty Brad Hand and righty David Phelps could be used as relief pitchers. Right-handers Preston Claiborne, Carter Capps, Sam Dyson and Andre Rienzo also have shots at making the team.

Dunn is the lone left-hander who is a lock at this point. But Rule 5 Draft pickup Andrew McKirahan is an interesting case. Claimed off the Cubs' roster in December, McKirahan has promising talent. He will be given every chance to make the squad.

The Marlins' bullpen did take a hit when Chris Hatcher was sent to the Dodgers as part of the Dee Gordon trade. But the club has assembled some depth to replace Hatcher.

Signing Rodriguez would make the bullpen even stronger, but Miami is weighing if the club should apply its resources to the 'pen now or save them for another part of the team later.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.