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Miami Marlins will make starting pitching their 'offseason priority'

Miami would like to add a pair of starters this winter.

Wade Miley was one of several pitchers the Marlins were linked to last offseason.
Wade Miley was one of several pitchers the Marlins were linked to last offseason.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Miami wants to add more pitching. The Marlins were reportedly seeking young, controllable starters in the hours leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, and according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, the club plans to make starting pitching its priority this offseason.

Although the Marlins do have a number of young starting arms, Jackson adds the organization plans to add a pair of pitchers at some point in the winter. Miami's 2016 rotation is likely to include Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Jarred Cosart, leaving the Marlins with a pair of open spots. Cosart has been plagued by vertigo but is expected to be healthy and return to the mound in the coming weeks.

Throughout 2015, the Marlins have been forced to depend on internal candidates as a result of injuries. David Phelps initially saw time pitching out of the bullpen and Brad Hand has returned to the rotation. Jose Urena, Justin Nicolino, Adam Conley, and Kendry Flores have all also been called upon at different times this season.

The Marlins opened the season with Dan Haren and Mat Latos in their rotation, however both impending free agents were traded before the deadline. Henderson Alvarez has spent most of 2015 on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and recently underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. If the organization has a desire to add more than one arm, Alvarez might not be prepared come spring training.

Though Nicolino, Conley, and Flores have all pitched for the Marlins in 2015, the Marlins either want them to continue to develop or plan to use them in trades at some point moving forward. Nicolino has posted a 3.52 ERA and 4.62 FIP over 115.0 innings and 20 starts with Triple-A New Orleans. Conley has had a comparable amount of success, posting a 2.52 ERA and 3.84 FIP over 107.0 innings and 19 starts. Flores has seen time in both Double and Triple-A and has posted ERAs of 2.06 and 2.61, respectively.

Miami was open to adding James Shields before he signed with San Diego and the organization was also linked to lefty Wade Miley. Regardless of who the Marlins are interested in, they might have a bit more payroll flexibility. As Jackson notes, neither former Manager Ozzie Guillen nor former President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest will be on the Marlins' payroll as of the end of the season.

A significant payroll increase might not be realistic but the Marlins will have several notable names to choose from. Miami will likely look to add offense, too, but pitching will be the priority once the season comes to an end.