Marlins non-tender; Paulino agrees

It was a difficult decision, but one the Marlins felt they had to make because the risk was too high.

On Saturday night, the club opted to non-tender versatile Alfredo Amezaga, making the 31-year-old a free agent.

With less than 30 minutes before the 11:59 p.m. ET tender deadline, the club announced it reached contract agreement with catcher Ronny Paulino for the 2010 season.

The Marlins tendered their remaining eight arbitration-eligible players — Josh Johnson, Cody Ross, Ricky Nolasco, Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla, Leo Nunez, Renyel Pinto and Anibal Sanchez.

Amezaga has yet to begin running after undergoing microfracture knee surgery over the summer. The uncertainty over his knee made tendering him a contract too risky. So the Marlins are cutting ties with one of the top utility players in the big leagues.

Knee problems limited Amezaga to 27 games and 69 at-bats in 2009. The veteran made $1.3 million this past season, and if he were tendered a contract, his salary would again have exceeded $1 million.

The hope is that he will be ready for Spring Training, but there still is a medical risk for the natural middle infielder, who also is an above average fielding outfielder.

The Marlins can still try to re-sign Amezaga, but now he is on the open market.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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