Marlins non-tender Coghlan, Webb, tender five others
Stanton, Morrison among arbitration-eligible players offered contract
MIAMI -- Since claiming the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, Chris Coghlan has dealt with a string of injuries and inconsistencies.
He had another hard-luck season in 2013, missing substantial time with ailments in his right calf and back that limited him to 70 games.
With the 28-year-old Coghlan eligible for arbitration for the first time, the Marlins had to make a tough decision. They did so by non-tendering him late Monday night.
Along with Coghlan, the Marlins non-tendered right-handed reliever Ryan Webb, who was eligible for arbitration for the second time.
Coghlan and Webb are now free agents.
All teams had until 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday to decline or offer contracts to their qualifying players.
The Marlins did tender contracts to their five other arbitration-eligible players -- Giancarlo Stanton, Steve Cishek, Logan Morrison, Justin Ruggiano and Mike Dunn, all of whom are eligible for the first time.
Tendering means that the players are guaranteed a contract for 2014, but their salary will be determined either through negotiations or in an arbitration hearing. In addition, they still could be subjected to trades.
The left-handed-hitting Coghlan was a homegrown Marlin, drafted out of the University of Mississippi as a compensatory first-round pick in 2006. A converted infielder, he switched to left field when he was called up in 2009. In his Rookie of the Year season, he batted .321 in 128 games.
But in 2010 he sustained a freak injury to his left knee during a postgame celebration, and he's only seen action in 265 big league games since '09.
Webb and Edward Mujica were acquired from the Padres in 2011 for outfielder Cameron Maybin. Webb posted a 2.91 ERA in 66 relief appearances and 80 1/3 innings. He made $975,000 in his first season of arbitration.
What is clear at this point is that the Marlins plan on retaining Stanton. They have yet to initiate any serious talks regarding a multiyear deal with him, but that could change in the upcoming days or weeks.
The 24-year-old right fielder is being closely watched, as his salary projects to escalate from $537,000 to more than $7 million.
Marlins officials have repeatedly said that Stanton is not available on the trade market. Still, speculation exists, and if a multiyear deal isn't reached, skeptics will say it is a matter of time before he is moved.
Stanton is coming off a down year by his standards, having batted .249 with 24 homers and 62 RBIs. Since being called up in 2010, he has 117 homers and 294 RBIs in 489 games. He also has a .354 on-base percentage and .535 slugging percentage.
Cishek is another core piece for next season. The right-hander secured the closer role in 2013, compiling 34 saves in 36 chances.
Morrison's future remains up in the air, as the left-handed-hitting first baseman has drawn attention on the trade front.
The Winter Meetings begin on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and Morrison is likely to draw trade interest.
Last season he batted .242 with six homers and 36 RBIs.
The right-handed-hitting Ruggiano was second to Stanton on the team in homers, with 18, and he plays all three outfield spots. Some teams have inquired about Ruggiano as a trade piece, but there are also signs that the Marlins are likely to retain him.
Dunn, a hard-throwing lefty setup reliever, posted a 2.66 ERA in 75 games.