Marlins sign 5, including 3 lefty relievers

November 17th, 2016

MIAMI -- Some needed lefty reliever depth is being added to the Marlins' Spring Training roster. Southpaws , and are among five non-roster invitees who have signed with Miami.

The organization has also added outfielder and catcher Carlos Paulino. All five have agreed to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

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Non-roster invitees often are players with limited or no previous big league experience.

But a number of them eventually go on to make an impact. fit that mold in 2016, going from non-roster invitee to appearing in 55 games and throwing 67 innings for the Marlins.

Miami has a shortage of left-handed relievers, and the competition is wide open. is a free agent, leaving , who appeared in 18 games after being acquired from the Braves, as the most experienced southpaw on the 40-man roster.

Lobstein could emerge as a candidate to contribute for the Marlins at some point in 2017. The 27-year-old made 14 relief appearances with the Pirates in 2016, logging 25 innings, with a 3.96 ERA.

Lobstein pitched in parts of two seasons with the Tigers, from 2014-15. In '15, he made 13 appearances, with 11 starts, while turning in a career-high 63 2/3 innings.

The Pirates designated Lobstein for assignment on Aug. 30, and after he cleared waivers, he was traded to the Orioles for lefty . Lobstein was outrighted by Baltimore on Sept. 3, and on Oct. 5, he refused the assignment, becoming a free agent.

Thielbar, 29, has made 109 big league appearances, all in relief, while with the Twins from 2013-15. The lefty has a career 2.74 ERA with 79 strikeouts to 30 walks in 98 2/3 innings.

Garces, 26, has 55 appearances in the Majors, with one start. The lefty pitched for the Padres in parts of 2014-15, and he has a career 4.60 ERA.

In 2016, Garces spent the season at Triple-A El Paso, where he made 37 appearances with 18 starts. He threw 114 1/3 innings, going 6-8 with a 4.41 ERA, striking out 98.

Sierra, 28, is a 6-foot-1, 220-pounder from the Dominican Republic who remains with the organization after hitting .336/.414/.519 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 82 games with Double-A Jacksonville this past season. He has big league experience, having played from 2012-14 with the Blue Jays before finishing '14 with the Orioles. In 180 MLB games, he has a .243 batting average with nine homers and 37 RBIs.

Paulino, 27, rejoins the Marlins organization, where he will provide organizational depth at catcher. In 2007, the Marlins signed Paulino as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic. He was dealt to the Pirates in a Minor League trade in '11, and he has no big league experience. In 524 Minor League games, Paulino's slash line is .247/.303/.337.