The Marlins have yet to officially announce their signing of Johnny Cueto and one reason for that could be a lack of a 40-man roster spot.
Miami is going to need to either trade a player off the 40-man roster or designate someone for assignment. The timetable for that move could be sometime this week, even though there is no immediate deadline. Let’s take a quick look at what the Marlins could choose to do, in order to open that spot up for the veteran pitcher.
For the purposes of this story, we’re going to assume Miami designates a player for assignment. Considering that, we believe it will be a pitcher that the Marlins DFA. Huascar Brazoban appears to be one prime candidate for this transaction, as he is a 33-year old reliever and could potentially clear waivers. Brazoban had some success in 2022, but it was in limited action. The Marlins have a substantial amount of their 40-man roster currently locked up with arms and something is going to have to give here.
If Miami chooses to keep Brazoban, it could look at Andrew Nardi as another DFA candidate. Nardi was absolutely annihilated by MLB hitters in limited action in 2022. Nardi’s E.R.A in 14.2 innings was 9.82 and his WHIP was 2.66, but there is still some potential here. Nardi struck out an impressive 24 batters in those 14.2 innings, and is still only 24.
If it was up to us, we’d DFA Brazoban before Nardi, but we’re also not paid the big bucks to make such decisions. The Marlins could go for a trade instead, as we alluded to earlier. There have been plenty of rumors about interest in Miami’s starting rotation this off-season, and a trade now could allow the team to avoid designating anyone for assignment.