The Florida Marlins have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent starter Javier Vazquez worth in the $7 million range, along with a full no-trade clause and the inability to offer arbitration next offseason. 

Coming off the Dan Uggla trade, the Florida Marlins were looking to use the intended salary on free agents to fulfill other areas of need. The Marlins signed catcher John Buck to a three-year deal worth $18 million earlier this month. 

Vazquez struggled in his second stint with the New York Yankees this past season, going 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA. Yet the Puerto Rican has a history of being a National League pitcher, with a career 4.02 ERA in over eight seasons there. He went 15-10 with a career-low 2.87 ERA in 219 1/3 innings with the Atlanta Braves in 2009.

In Vazquez, the Marlins are getting an innings eater who has averaged 211 innings in the past decade, and his acquisition could provide relief to the bullpen if they have been used too frequently on a given stretch in the season. 

Baring any injuries or struggles, Vazquez’s addition to the starting rotation will make the Marlins a legitimate threat in the NL East, if not a dark horse like this past seasons’ San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds. He joins an all right-handed staff that has Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad. He is expected to be the teams’ No. 2 or No. 3, depending on spring-training performance. 

In his career, Vazquez is 2-2 in eight games at Sun Life Stadium, with a 4.95 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.


Fish Frying the Hot Stove 

The Marlins have been among the most active teams in the early weeks of the offseason as part of their plan to increase payroll as they get closer into the new ballpark.

The Marlins have traded Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller in separate deals for a combined package of infielder Omar Infante and pitchers Mike Dunn, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb and Dustin Richardson. 

With the winter meetings coming up, the Marlins seem far from done in making major moves. The team has been rumored as one of the teams interested in Arizona’s Justin Upton, and Vazquez’s arrival could pave the way for the team to deal Ricky Nolasco if contract talks don’t progress. 

The Marlins have another possible starter in Alex Sanabia, who was 5-3 in 15 games (72 1/3 innings) with a 3.73 ERA as a rookie this past season, if any such trade leaves a hole in the rotation. 

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