Marlins surveying market for Andino
Blocked by competing infielders, '02 Draftee center of talks with Bucs
LAS VEGAS -- Out of Minor League options, infielder Robert Andino may soon be leaving the Marlins.
Florida's second-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Andino has been blocked at shortstop by All-Star Hanley Ramirez. Versatile infielder Alfredo Amezaga also stands in Andino's way of playing time, and the recent addition of infielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Nationals has opened the door for Florida to move Andino.
The Marlins have had discussions with the Pirates about Andino, with a league source saying that a deal could be completed. A name that has surfaced in return is Minor League shortstop Brian Bixler, who has 50 games of Major League experience.
There have been talks at the Winter Meetings about the Marlins showing interest in catcher Ronny Paulino. But according to a National League source, there didn't seem to be any discussions about sending the catcher to Florida.
The 24-year-old Andino appeared in 44 games with the Marlins this past season. A natural shortstop, he also saw some time at third base and second base in 2008. He even played in center field, a position he hadn't played since high school.
On Tuesday night, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest confirmed that the team was talking with two unspecified teams about a trade involving a mid-level player.
Because Andino, a Miami native, is out of Minor League options, the Marlins would risk losing him at any point during the 2009 season if they didn't carry him on their big league club. If he winds up with the Pirates, Andino would be working with a familiar face; former Marlins infield coach Perry Hill is the team's new infield coach.
Marc DelPiano, a Pirates special assistant, was with the Marlins organization in 2002 when Andino was drafted.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.