Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, in his latest Full Count video, reports that the Miami Marlins are in no way interested in trading Giancarlo Stanton during this regular season. In fact, the Fish appear to be in "buy mode" and could look to improve on the roster at the starting pitching position.
The Fish made strides to improve their bullpen by signing former closer Kevin Gregg and trading the 39th pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, one of the team's two competitive balance draft picks, for reliever Bryan Morris. But it may the rotation where the Fish have the most interest in improving. Miami obviously took a major hit when Jose Fernandez went down with a torn UCL injury, and the team back of the starting rotation has been questionable behind Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez. The team's signing of Randy Wolf represented a desperate move to get bodies on the roster, but the club could look to add bodies via trade.
Ironically, starting pitching is where the Fish are deepest in terms of their minor league system. Andrew Heaney is expected to be promoted at any time now, and he would be immediately provide a ready replacement for one of the club's poor rotation spots. But the Fish boast a number of other decent minor league pitchers who could step in in a pinch for the rotation. Anthony DeSclafani made two starts with mixed results but has been pitching well in Triple-A since his demotion. Brian Flynn had a monster Triple-A season last year and is holding his own again this year. Both those pitchers are on the 40-man roster and would not cost Miami a slot. The team has even more prospects in Double-A waiting for a potential look as well.
But none of those pitchers have proven mettle, and that may be the Marlins' reasoning for pursuing starting pitching, especially with the offense performing at a historical-turnaround level, as Dave Cameron of FanGraphs recently pointed out. Instead of promoting from within, the team could use a few of its plethora of acceptable but not high-ceiling prospects to bring in a starter for a rental campaign in 2014. The club could still use its depth but without having to depend on those young players to perform in a potential pennant race.
The biggest name in the pitcher's market is clearly Jeff Samardjiza, but it is highly unlikely the team can acquire him without giving up Andrew Heaney to the Chicago Cubs. The same goes for potential trades for players like David Price or James Shields, other premium targets for teams. Instead, the club may seek out half-year rentals like Jason Hammel or Justin Masterson and see where those players could take them. It would be unlikely for any soon-to-be free agent the Marlins acquire to be re-signed.
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