In 2007, John Maine was a 26-year-old 15-game winner for the New York Mets and looked like a mainstay in their rotation.

Going into 2013, the Miami Marlins are just hoping he can be a major league pitcher.

According to Joe Frisaro of, Miami signed the 31-year-old veteran to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training for 2013.

After dealing away Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Marlins’ rotation needs pitchers with some big league experience. Maine fits the bill, despite not pitching in the majors in 2011 or 2012.

Maine was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the sixth round of the 2002 draft. He made his debut with the 2004 Orioles.

Baltimore sent him packing to the Mets in the Kris Benson deal. While Benson never panned out in Baltimore, Maine had initial success. He pitched for the 2006 National League champion Mets. His career highlight was out-pitching Chris Carpenter in Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS to force a Game 7.

2007 was his best over all season and his future in Queens looked secure.

Unfortunately for Maine, he developed rotator cuff problems that needed surgery. Then, his shoulder needed surgery.

He also had stints in the Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees systems that did not yield a single major league appearance.

He pitched 79.2 innings to a 4.97 ERA in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees’ system—the most he has thrown in professional ball since 2009.

The Marlins are taking a low-risk gamble that he will resume pitching like he did in the late 2000s and give them a big league arm in this upcoming rebuilding season.

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