Miami Marlins Bring Back Nick Green and Austin Kearns for 2013

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IJanuary 17, 2013

Sarah Glenn/Getty Images - Robert Duyos/Sun Sentinel
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images - Robert Duyos/Sun Sentinel

Not every veteran who played for the Miami Marlins in 2012 has been sent elsewhere. Infielder Nick Green and outfielder Austin Kearns are coming back to the organization for 2013 after signing minor league deals with invitations to spring training, according to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post.

Green has played in seven different seasons on the major league level for eight different teams. A utility infielder, he started games at third base, second base and shortstop for the 2012 Marlins. Green made his big league debut with the 2004 Atlanta Braves and played in the Division Series that year.

Since then he has filled in all over the diamond for various clubs. With the Marlins sporting a young roster, having an experienced veteran who can fill in at different positions should give manager Mike Redmond some flexibility with his roster.

Austin Kearns was one of the top prospects in baseball in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Baseball America ranked him as the 11th top prospect going into the 2002 season. That year he finished third in the Rookie of the Year ballot while playing for the Reds.

But injuries have taken their toll as Kearns has only passed the 20 home run mark once in 11 seasons. His slugging has dipped in even the limited playing time has had in the past two seasons.

However, he can provide some right handed pop off of the bench and give Redmond a few more options.

Neither of these signings will put the Marlins back into the playoffs. But having reliable veterans on the bench while young talent develops certainly will not hurt.