Marlins C Ivan Rodriguez files for free agency

Updated: November 3, 2003, 7:35 PM ET

NEW YORK - Florida Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez is on the verge of cashing in on a very big gamble.

Rodriguez was one of 13 players to file for free agency Monday, pushing the number of players eligible to shop their services this winter to almost 200.

Rodriguez bypassed a chance for financial security by turning down a multi-year contract offer last offseason. He instead signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Florida Marlins that prevented the club from offering him binding arbitration.

After a season in which he hit .297 with 16 homers and 85 RBIs and, more importantly, showed he can remain healthy, Rodriguez is sure to be one of the most sought-after players available. Adding to his appeal was a postseason performance in which he led the Marlins to their second World Series title in seven years and captured National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player honors along the way.

Joining Rodriguez in filing Monday were teammates Todd Hollandsworth and Gerald Williams. The two outfielders had diminished roles in October but could find roles as reserves in 2004.

Also filing Monday were New York Yankees relievers Antonio Osuna and Gabe White. St. Louis had three players file: pitchers Jeff Fassero and Chris Carpenter and second baseman Fernando Vina.

Atlanta outfielder Darren Bragg, Cincinnati righthander Todd Van Poppel, Houston lefthander Ron Villone and Pirates righthander Julian Tavarez were joined in filing by Tampa Bay first baseman Travis Lee, who had his option declined on October 30, bringing the number of players so far to 196.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index