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Marlins sign Randy Choate to two-year, $2.5 million contract

Randy Choate

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Randy Choate (36) comes into the baseball game during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox in St. Petersburg, Fla., Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. The Red Sox won 3-1. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)


Florida’s bullpen makeover continues, as Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Marlins have signed left-handed specialist Randy Choate to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

Choate is a Type B free agent and Tampa Bay smartly offered him arbitration, so the Rays will receive a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds for losing a guy they acquired for nothing in 2009 and paid $700,000 in 2010.

None of which is to suggest that Choate isn’t plenty useful. A side-arming southpaw, he held left-handed hitters to a .202 batting average this year and a .217 mark for his career. However, he can’t be trusted versus right-handed hitters, as they’ve knocked him around to the tune of a .279 batting average and .800 OPS, which is how Choate led the AL with 85 appearances yet logged a total of just 45 innings.