Texas and a handful of other clubs seeking starting pitching depth have been linked to Brad Hand, however Hand may end up remaining in Miami. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, it is unlikely the Marlins deal Hand because he can make a spot start whenever necessary and will be another left-handed option out of the bullpen.
Hand, 25, was scheduled to start on Friday afternoon against the Astros, and the Marlins like his potential upside. He is out of minor league options and posted a 4.38 ERA and 4.20 FIP in 111.0 innings pitched last season. He made 16 starts for the Marlins in 2014, and posted a 1.36 WHIP. Hand cannot be sent to the minors without clearing waivers, and as a result, Miami was thought to be considering acquiring a mid-level prospect in a deal involving him.
Although both Hand and Rule 5 draft pick Andrew McKirahan have drawn a notable amount of interest over the last week, the Marlins are looking to retain their starting pitching depth, specifically until Jose Fernandez returns to the mound this summer. While Fernandez is hoping to return in June or July, the Marlins are not going to rush him back.
Miami announced on Thursday Hand would make Friday's start (which was subsequently rained out), however Frisaro noted it was not a showcase for teams interested in trading for him. Hand threw in a minor league league game and Mat Latos started against Houston on Saturday instead. Hand has had success since being slotted back into the rotation last July.
Jarred Cosart was scheduled to face the Astros, however he has been plagued by a blister on his right middle finger. Cosart is also being investigated by Major League Baseball for gambling issues although he is expected to be on the Marlins' 25-man roster come Opening Day.
For the second consecutive season, the fifth starter spot will likely go to Tom Koehler, and as a result, Hand will likely open the season pitching out of the bullpen. He gives Miami lefty depth, and has experience pitching at the major leaguel level. He has only allowed two runs in 10 spring innings and may work his way into the rotation at some point in 2015. As a result, the Marlins feel there is no need to deal him.