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Setup man Juan Carlos Oviedo gets $6 million from Marlins to bypass arbitration

Jan 17, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Leo Nunez - Juan Carlos Oviedo AP

Juan Carlos Oviedo–formerly known as Leo Nunez–has avoided arbitration with the Marlins with a one-year, $6 million deal.

Oviedo earned $3.65 million last season while saving 36 games, so he would have been in line for a sizable raise via arbitration.

However, paying $6 million for a setup man is awfully expensive, particularly since the Marlins gave new closer Heath Bell a three-year, $27 million deal.

When the Marlins decided to tender a contract to Oviedo back in mid-December it seemed like an odd move in light of the Bell signing and the assumption was that they felt confident about being able to trade him to a team looking for a closer.

Of course, the closer market has been so buyer-friendly this offseason that far superior guys like Ryan Madson are stuck taking one-year deals, so it’s hard to imagine much interest in Oviedo for $6 million. He threw 64 innings with a 4.06 ERA and 55/21 K/BB ratio last season, giving him a 4.34 ERA in 357 career innings at age 30.

  1. marshmallowsnake - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    That dude looks a lot like Leo Nunez!

    • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      And probably would have been better off if he had just gone and gotten his name changed legally to Leo Nunez, too.

      On the other hand, imagine what a signed, currently dated “Leo Nunez” baseball would be worth on the Moron Memorabilia market?

  2. rambodiaz - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    That, combined with this (h.t. Rob Neyer @ SB Nation) has finally made me realize that the Marlins are certifiably nuts.

    • cur68 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      Throw in that Home Run display & I think you have reason to break out the straight jackets.

    • Old Gator - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      ‘Bo, until you have endured the Marlins Mermaids “choreography” from a field box, you have no idea how welcome is any paradigm shift in the between-innings entertainment. They were too cheap to hire Margo Sappington to handle the cheerleaders back then, and boy, what a difference in the attendance Oh, Calcutta would have made.

  3. Jonny 5 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM

  4. dwrek5 - Jan 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Ochocinco, Meta World Peace, and then Leo chooses Juan Carlos Oviedo? C’mon man!

    • The Baseball Gods - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Do you have any background on this story at all? Juan Carlos Oviedo is his real name. He was using the name of one of his good childhood friends, Leo Nunez, in order to make it seem like he was a year younger so that he could get a more lucrative contract. He used fake identification and had to return to the Dominican Republic to deal with the issue.

  5. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I hope he’s as good a reliever as Leo Nunez was.

  6. jwbiii - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    “Oviedo and the Marlins are confident his visa issues will be resolved in time for him to return in time for spring training next month”,0,5464570.story

    because these pesky little visa issues are always cleared up in no time flat. I speak of time in geological terms, of course.

  7. lostsok - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    I remember the first time I saw him. I thought to myself…that’s no Leo…that’s a JUAN!

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