Four Miami Marlins opt to test free-agent waters

Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson hit .235 with 15 doubles, two homers and 25 RBI in 133 games.

Steve Mitchell/Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 season officially over and the offseason underway, four Miami Marlins elected free agency.

Though none of them come as surprises, pinch-hitter Reed Johnson, infielder Rafael Furcal, right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg and right-hander Brad Penny will test the market.

Johnson, who turns 38 in December, signed a one-year deal last winter. He hit .235 with 15 doubles, two homers and 25 RBI in 133 games. As one of Miami’s top options off the bench, he hit .239 with three doubles, a homer and 12 RBI in those situations. But during the summer months, he struggled with a .131 average. Johnson was also used as the fourth outfielder.

Furcal, coming off Tommy John surgery that made him miss the 2013 season, signed a one-year contract to be the club’s starting second baseman. The 37-year-old played in just nine big-league games, hampered from spring training and on by hamstring and groin injuries.

Gregg signed a minor-league deal after Carter Capps got hurt and the Carlos Marmol and Henry Rodriguez experiments failed. The 36-year-old’s contract was selected in mid-June, and he would throw in 12 outings, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits in nine innings. Gregg landed on the DL July 18 with right shoulder inflammation and would not return.

Penny, out of the majors since 2012, was signed to a minor-league contract after veterans Kevin Slowey and Randy Wolf couldn’t eat up innings. In his second stint with the Marlins, Penny, 36, went back and forth as a starter and reliever. He went 2-1 with a 6.58 ERA in eight games (four starts) from Aug 9 through Sept. 26.

The Marlins also reinstated ace Jose Fernandez from the 60-day disabled list. The 40-man roster now sits at 37.

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.