Miami added depth to its starting rotation this offseason with the expectation that Jose Fernandez would not return until June or July. Brad Hand and David Phelps are both being looked at as starters this spring, and as a result of their depth, the Marlins may consider trading a starting pitcher this offseason, according to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi.
#Marlins could end up trading a starting pitcher before Opening Day. Dan Haren has thrown well this spring.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 14, 2015
The Marlins traded for both Mat Latos and Dan Haren, and acquired Phelps in the Martin Prado trade with the Yankees. Haren has pitched well in his first three starts as a Marlin, and Phelps has been productive this spring. Of the three, Hand may be the favorite to make the club, though, because he is out of options.
Hand, 24, posted a 4.38 ERA and 4.20 FIP in 111.0 innings with the Marlins last season. Miami has yet to determine if it will carry more than one lefty in the bullpen, but if the club elects to have more than one left-handed reliever, Rule 5 draft pick Andrew McKirahan may be the favorite. Phelps could be sent to Triple-A since the Marlins are expected to have a right-handed intensive bullpen, although he may be dealt if he continues to post solid numbers. Although they thought he may compete for a starting job upon first acquiring him, Aaron Crow is only being considered for a bullpen spot this spring.
Several teams throughout baseball have been forced to consider other starting options as a result of injuries, and the Marlins may be able to capitalize. Either Hand or Phelps can be dealt, and Miami could seek corner infield depth in return. Ultimately, the Marlins will likely receive calls with regard to their starters before opening day. But if Fernandez will not be healthy until the summer, keeping the extra arms may prove to be beneficial.