The Miami Marlins are still searching for a starting pitcher, especially with names coming off the board quickly in the forms of Jon Lester, Tommy Milone, and more. Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel was apparently not for sale either, but that does not mean the Astros are done potentially dealing. They are fielding calls for starter Jarred Cosart, and the Miami Marlins and Texas Rangers are among the interested teams, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Among teams checking in with #Astros on Jarred Cosart, per sources: #Orioles, #Marlins, #Rangers.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2014
Cosart came to Houston as a top prospect from the Philadelphia Phillies organization, as he and Jonathan Singleton arrived in the deal for Hunter Pence. While Singleton retained his top status through 2014, Cosart got a chance to debut last year after ranking in the top 100 prospects in multiple sites before 2013. Unfortunately, his work so far in 173 career innings has not been impressive; he does own a 3.57 ERA and 4.13 FIP, but it is marred by an ugly strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.26) and a lot of good fortune on home runs.
His numbers this season in full-time play look a little better. He owns a 4.41 ERA but a 4.02 FIP and is continuing his trend of mashing the ball on the ground, to the tune of a 56.5 percent ground ball rate. Miami's infield defense is not impressive, so that actually is not the best fit, but as Henderson Alvarez has shown, getting the ball on the ground can be successful in Miami.
Cosart would be a buy-low candidate under significant team control for Miami; he is slated to become a free agent in 2020 and has two seasons of pre-arbitration salary left. But the low zone percentage and questionable strikeout-to-walk numbers remind me a lot of Jacob Turner, except a Turner with good home run luck and better ground ball rates. That description is better than Jacob Turner and probably Brad Hand, but not by much. Miami would not have to give up too much, but they may not get a great upgrade as of right now either. The only saving grace is that Cosart is 24 years old and could still have some growth left from being a former top-100 prospect.
It would be an interesting move for the Fish, especially given the likely lower price. Would you Fish Stripers be interested in Cosart? How much would you give up? Stay tuned here to Fish Stripes for all your trade deadline coverage!