02/15/2013 5:50 PM ET
Marlins ink Kotchman to Minor League deal
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- The first base competition has gotten a little more crowded.
The Marlins on Friday signed Casey Kotchman to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Kotchman, who turns 30 on Feb. 22, will arrive at camp on Saturday.
A left-handed hitter, and strong defensively, Kotchman batted. 229 in 142 games for the Indians last season. He added 12 home runs and 55 RBIs.
With the Rays in 2011, Kotchman hit .306 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs.
Logan Morrison, the projected starting first baseman, may not be ready for Opening Day. Morrison is recovering from right knee surgery, and he has yet to be cleared to run.
On Tuesday, Morrison will be examined by Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., to determine when he is ready to run at full speed.
The Marlins held their first full-squad workouts on Friday, and working at first base were Greg Dobbs and Joe Mahoney.
A St. Petersburg, Fla., native, Kotchman was a first-round pick of the Angels in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. In nine seasons, he's played for the Angels, Braves, Red Sox, Mariners, Rays and Indians.
He is a career .262 hitter with 71 homers.
The Marlins have 74 players in camp.
Marlins hoping Polanco can solidify hot corner
JUPITER, Fla. -- When the offer was made, Placido Polanco was eager to accept.
Polanco is one of the key offseason signings for the revamped Marlins. The 37-year-old agreed to be part of the building process, and he's projected to be the starting third baseman.
Because of Polanco's versatility, he may also see some time at second base. But on the first day of full-squad workouts, the Marlins are primarily looking at him to lock down third base.
Polanco joins a young Miami squad after spending the past three seasons on the Phillies, who won two National League East titles in that span.
Going from an established club to a team with something to prove was actually an easy decision.
"I was a free agent. I live here in Miami," said Polanco, who signed for $2.75 million. "I was just waiting for calls to see what teams were interested. When the Marlins jumped in, it was a very easy decision."
Health will be key for the veteran, who missed time in 2012 due to lower-back issues. He played in 90 games, and batted .257 in 303 at-bats.
"I'm good. I'm 100 percent," Polanco said. "That's one thing I said to myself, 'If I'm not healthy, I'm not going to play.' I got the point where I'm healthy. I wanted to play, and I signed with the Marlins."
The Marlins are hoping veterans like Polanco mix in well with young, unproven players.
"I think it is important to have the right combination of young guys and veteran guys," he said. "I think we have that here."
As for low expectations, he added: "Nobody thought the Oakland A's were going to win it last year, and they won the [American League West] division. It's just one of those things. If you look around, we have a lot of talent and I think we can do it."
Opportunity knocking for Pierre, young players
JUPITER, Fla. -- For the Marlins to have a successful season, they will be looking for their young players to produce quickly and their veterans to provide direction.
Juan Pierre is one of the established veterans on a young squad. The 35-year-old will play left field and lead off. His presence also should be a positive impact on players looking to make a name for themselves.
"If you're a young guy, or a guy on the fringe, or whatever, this is where you want to be," Pierre said. "I call it, 'The Land of Opportunity' right now. If you play well, the Marlins will have you in the big leagues, or they'll get you to somewhere you can go play."
Despite being so young, Pierre says the team has the capability to surprise some people.
"It's definitely a great opportunity for everybody," he said. "I think if everybody pulls together that we can actually have a good team. I know we're going to have to outwork guys.
"I know the young guys are working, and eager to go. I know, position-player-wise, we had pretty much everybody here the whole week. I think everybody is ready to go."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond was teammates with Pierre, and now he is his manager.
"I know Red is excited for his first manager's job," Pierre said. "The whole buzz around here is to get the job done, work, but have fun."
FOX Sports Florida airing 150 Marlins games
JUPITER, Fla. -- FOX Sports Florida will televise 150 Marlins regular season games, plus the team will be the Saturday Game of the Week three times.
Opening Day will air on FOX Sports Florida on April 1, when the Marlins face Washington at Nationals Park.
Two games against the Rays -- May 27-28 -- will air statewide as part of the Tampa Bay's broadcast on FOX's Sun Sports.
Miami also will be featured three times on the "FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week," -- May 35 at the White Sox, July 13 vs. the Nationals and Aug. 17 vs. the Giants.
Rich Waltz returns to handle play-by-play, and Tommy Hutton is back as an analyst.
Craig Minervini returns as the pregame host and in-game reporter. FOX Sports Florida's Frank Forte hosts Inside the Marlins and select Marlins LIVE pre-and postgame shows, and Allison Williams returns as feature reporter.