The Miami Marlins came to one year agreements with Edward Mujica and Juan Carlos Oviedo on Tuesday. The contracts mean both the players and the team will avoid an arbitration process that neither side was particularly looking forward to. For Oviedo, his salary will be $6 million in 2012 while he serves as the primary set-up man to new closer Heath Bell. As for Mujica, he will earn $1,625,000 in 2012.
Oviedo who previously was known as Leo Núñez has still not returned to the United States after identity issues that cut his 2011 season short. Oviedo is expected to be able to return however in time for Spring Training as he is not facing criminal charges in the Dominican Republic. The set-up role is something Oviedo has experience with and is also a role he has thrived in previously. His salary will be the highest the Marlins have ever awarded a reliever outside of Bell. There is still a chance the team will look to trade Oviedo but with his price tag, it’s likely they will not find proper value for him and may opt to retain his services for a strengthened pen.
Mujica was a major contributor to the 2011 relief corps with exceptional control and the ability to pitch in many different scenarios. The righty often found himself as the pitcher of record right before a Marlins’ comeback which led to him compiling an unusually high nine wins out of the pen. On days Nunez needs off, it’s likely Mujica will handle eighth inning duties and on most other days he’ll serve as the seventh inning guy. With the ability to pitch multiple innings, it’s also possible Mujica finds himself in a middle relief role on days where the starter is unable to go deep into the game.
With a solid rotation that has the opportunity to give Ozzie Guillen six plus innings on a daily bases from each arm, the Marlins are primed to have a very dependable bullpen as well.