Miami is seeking a front of the rotation starting pitcher this winter and started its search at the general manager meetings this week. Colby Lewish, Tim Lincecum and Scott Kazmir are all starters who "intrigue" the Marlins, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
Since the off-season began, the Marlins have made it clear they have a desire to add a top starter to complement Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler and Jarred Cosart in the rotation. Henderson Alvarez is not expected to be healthy by the time spring training starts and the Marlins might benefit from keeping Justin Nicolino and Adam Conley in Triple-A in case they need depth at any time in 2016.
While the Marlins made it clear they do not plan to pursue any of the top free agent starters available, which include David Price and Zack Greinke, the club could consider the next tier of free agent pitchers. Lewis and Lincecum could fall into that category, however Kazmir might prove to be too expensive.
Lewis, 36, earned $4 million last season and pitched to a 4.66 ERA and 4.17 FIP over 204.2 innings with the Rangers. He made 33 starts after making 29 in 2014 and could be a candidate to have success in 2016.
Since he would be entering his 11th major league season, Lewis might be open to signing a shorter term deal, which could work well for the Marlins as Nicolino and Conley develop. He will also likely be relatively affordable, which could benefit the Marlins, who if they cannot move Marcell Ozuna have a pair of rotation spots to fill.
While Lewis could be an affordable option, Lincecum might not be. At 31, he pitched to a 4.13 ERA and 4.29 FIP over 76.1 innings with the Giants last season. At the start of his career with San Francisco, Lincecum was dominant, however he has not had as much success over the last few seasons.
Though he has not had as much success, Lincecum will still likely request an extensive deal. At this point, the Marlins might not be intrigued enough to give him one.
Lincecum and Lewis could be realistic, but Kazmir might not be. Kazmir pitched to a 3.10 ERA and 3.98 FIP over 183.0 innings last season and was one of the primary targets of teams seeking pitching before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He made $11 million last season and is probably due for a raise.
Yovani Gallardo and Doug Fister could emerge as more realistic options for the Marlins heading into 2016. But the Marlins will likely be thorough in their search for new starting pitchers.