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Marlins sign Kerry Ligtenberg


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Marlins sign Helms

Miami Herald Staff and Wire Reports


The Marlins continued to add to their collection of veteran cast-offs Friday, announcing they signed infielder Wes Helms to a one-year $800,000 contract and finalizing a deal for catcher Miguel Olivo.


Last week, in a deal the team has yet to announce, it signed reliever Kerry Ligtenberg to a split major/minor-league deal that includes an invitation to spring training and a $600,000 salary if he makes the team.Helms, 29, who signed two days before Christmas, became a free agent this fall after hitting a career-best .298 in 98 games as a utility infielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. He's a .257 hitter in six big-league seasons with Milwaukee and the Atlanta Braves.


Olivo, 27, is a .237 career hitter in parts of four major-league seasons with the White Sox, Mariners and Padres. He hit .151 in 54 games with Seattle last season before coming to San Diego at the midsummer trade deadline and hitting .304 over the final two months, helping key San Diego's push to the NL West title.


Ligtenberg, 34, who pitched in seven games with Arizona last season, is 17-20 in eight seasons as a reliever, mainly with the Braves. He pitched 9 2/3 innings, posting a 13.24 ERA, for Arizona last May before being designated for assignment. He finished the season in Triple A, where he went 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 38 games.


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It wasn't that long ago that Fish fans would have been overjoyed to have Kerry Ligtenberg on our staff. The last two years have been dreadful for the guy and for all intents and purposes he appears to be washed up.


But the same was said of Rick Helling, Chad Fox and others. If, a big IF, he can get back to anywhere near where he was in '03 and before, he'll be a real asset to the team AND a very tradeable commodity come mid-season (a pet theory of mine as we've traded away most of our marketable players already, but that's for another thread). If not, well thanks for trying, and we move on without him.


ESPN link to Kerry Ligtenberg's career stats


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what the heck happened to him anyway? Up through '03 he was one of the best relievers around, then in '04 & '05 he's terrible?


Can't just be the Leo Mazzone magic again, he was fine with Baltimore in '03.


I was looking at some breakdowns of his '04 season, & even then with an ERA over 6, he K'd 40 and allowed only 2 homers in 42 innings. Opponents hit over .300 against him but for his career they'd only hit around .230, so something was definitely off.


I think he is absolutely worth giving a shot. He's not too old for a reliever, and as terrible as he was in '05, he was really only used a handful of times (though admittedly a couple of them were disasters). But if he can regain anything of his former stuff he'd be a great addition. If not, no harm done.

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