As the season wears on and the Miami Marlins continue to stay in contention one question keeps popping up. How can they improve this team? The obvious answers are in the bullpen, or the starting rotation with the rotation being the most important. Losing Jose Fernandez to Tommy John Surgery was an enormous blow to their playoff chances. It seems unlikely that going forward with a rotation including Tom Koehler, Randy Wolf, and Jacob Turner can continue to perform well enough to keep Miami in the playoff race. The impending promotion of Andrew Heaney will help, but if the Marlins want to be serious contenders they will need more than Heaney. When the mention of trading for a starting pitcher comes up David Price, and Jeff Samardzija are the first names to come up, but let's look at a few more realistic targets.
Even after a poor outing last night,Jason Hammel is having a career year so far in 2014 for the otherwise abysmal Chicago Cubs. This season Hammel has posted a 2.81 ERA and a 3.02 FIP. He also has a career high strikeout percentage of 23.2%. He is clearly pitching above his head, as his career ERA is 4.64, but the Marlins may be able to take advantage of his career best season, and land him without giving up a top prospect.
Ian Kennedy finished 4th in Cy Young voting in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. That year Kennedy exploded onto the scene putting up a 4.9 fWAR season with a 2.89 ERA. The next two seasons Kennedy regressed ending up with a 4.02 ERA in 2012, and bottoming out with a 4.91 ERA in 2013. This season in San Diego Kennedy has been enjoying a bit of a career renaissance, currently his ERA sits at 3.72 with an even better FIP of 3.07. A fly-ball pitcher like Kennedy could thrive in the canyon that is Marlins Park.
Jorge De La Rosa
The Rockies started the season hot, but have faded from the NL West race of late. They might be ready to cash in on De La Rosa. De La Rosa was very good last season, especially for a guy who pitches at Coors Field. Last season he had an ERA of 3.49 in his best professional season yet. This season hasn't been quite as successful as his ERA currently stands at 4.12, but a change of scenery from Coors Field to Marlins Park may be just what he needs.
These are just a few guys who might be available and for a reasonable price. A rotation with Eovaldi, Alvarez, Heaney, Koehler, and one of these three would be significantly better than any rotation with Randy Wolf, and Jacob Turner. If the Marlins can upgrade the rotation to help contend for the playoffs without giving away the future then trade deadline season will have been a success. What do you Marlins fans think? Should they go after one of these three, or should they give Brian Flynn and Anthony DeSclafani a chance to pitch in the big league rotation?