Marlins add den Dekker on Minors deal with invite

Marlins add den Dekker on Minors deal with invite

MIAMI -- Matt den Dekker has played for the Mets and the Nationals, and now the 29-year-old outfielder is welcoming an opportunity to be closer to home.

A Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native, den Dekker has agreed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training with the Marlins, giving the organization depth with big league experience.

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The left-handed-hitting and throwing outfielder has appeared in 154 big league games since breaking in with the Mets in 2013. With Washington in 2016, den Dekker had 39 plate appearances, and in limited action, he batted .176 with one double, one home run and four RBIs. He spent much of the season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he had a slash line of .207/.292/.315 with eight homers and 44 RBIs.

The Marlins are in the process of adding non-roster invitees, and den Dekker, who attended the University of Florida, joins a list that previously included pitchers Kyle Lobstein, Caleb Thielbar and Frank Garces.

Miami is in the market for organizational outfield depth. Cole Gillespie, who split time at Triple-A New Orleans and with the Marlins in 2016, is currently a free agent.

On their big league roster, the Marlins have Ichiro Suzuki as their fourth outfielder, backing up Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton.

The Marlins are open to signing Jeff Francoeur, acquired from the Braves in late August. But they aren't planning on addressing their bench until they solidify their bullpen and other pitching needs, so a deal with Francoeur before later this month or in January isn't likely.

Francoeur also is open to playing some first base, which would increase his versatility. 

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.