Although as of Wednesday morning the Marlins are reportedly "determined to find a first baseman," the club is still looking to add a starter to the front of its rotation until Jose Fernandez returns next summer. Miami has evaluated available free agents but wouldn't be opposed to a trade, and according to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi, the Marlins have inquired about the availability of Tigers starters David Price and Rick Porcello.
Sources: Marlins have inquired to Tigers about availability of David Price or Rick Porcello. Talks are not serious right now.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 25, 2014
Miami said it is looking for a front of the rotation arm, and while Price and Porcello are consistent and durable options, the organization may not want to part with the prospects it will likely take in order to get a deal done. The Marlins have a significant amount of starting pitching depth, and the Tigers might seek Andrew Heaney and a bat or two to just get conversations started.
Price spent 2014 between the Rays and Tigers, and posted a 3.26 ERA and 2.78 FIP in 248.1 innings. He has been able to limit the number of walks he issues on a yearly basis (1.38 BB/9 in 2014), and pitched to a 6.1 WAR in 2014. Acquiring Price, though, would mean dramatically increasing the payroll. He made $14 million last season, and the Marlins might not be in a position to add his salary after signing Giancarlo Stanton to a $325 million, backloaded contract.
Detroit could be fielding all offers, but Price might not even be available. The Tigers might be looking to get younger within their rotation, but parting with a package of arms likely wouldn't benefit a team looking to win within the next few seasons.
Porcello could be a more realistic option for the Marlins, considering he is less expensive. He made $8.5 million in 2014, and posted a 3.43 ERA and 3.67 FIP in 204.2 innings pitched with the Tigers a season ago. He has had ERAs and FIPs in the low-fours for most of his career, and therefore might not be an upgrade over other, more inexpensive options. Like Price, Porcello has been able to limit walks throughout the course of his career, but the asking price still might be too high for the Marlins to seriously consider adding him.
Adding either Price or Porcello to the rotation would be a clear upgrade, and would give the Marlins the front of the rotation arm they are looking for. Talks are not serious, though, and considering both are expensive and could require parting with key prospects, Miami may look at another options before reaching out to Detroit and making an offer.