Hearing that your favorite baseball team is pursuing not one, but two former Cy Young award winners should be enough to get the World Series dreams going. When it becomes clear that neither of them have won the award this decade, those dreams somewhat begin to fade. However, there are worse bargain pitchers the Marlins could be pursuing, even though signing either one would come with an element of risk.
First up: Tim 'The Freak' Lincecum. Lincecum won back-to-back Cy Young awards with the Giants in 2008 and 2009, but has since regressed quite severely. He hasn't posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2011, and, to make matters worse, he is coming off hip surgery. He is still only 31 years old, though, and he has thrown over 180 innings in six of his nine years in the majors.
It is unclear how much the hip injury will affect his ability to pitch effectively in 2016, but Lincecum has shown that he can be durable in the past. Every professional pitch he has thrown has been with San Francisco, so maybe a change of scenery will help him to get back on the path he was on a few years ago.
Cliff Lee would also be a gamble for the Marlins, but for slightly different reasons. He won the Cy Young while with Cleveland in 2008, and he has posted an ERA under 3.00 three times since receiving the award, most recently in 2013. He has logged over 200 innings on eight occasions, but that obviously put a lot of strain on the 37 year old's body as he has been nursing an elbow injury since the middle of 2014.
Lee has not pitched in the majors since then as he has opted to rehab a flexor tendon in his left (pitching) elbow, rather than have surgery. His age, and that fact the he reportedly wants a high salary, possibly makes Lee a bigger risk than Lincecum, but Lee was producing more impressive numbers in his most recent game action. Whether Lee would be ready for Opening Day or not is also still up in the air, and the Marlins are not interested in anyone with question marks, health-wise, whatsoever.
Both veterans will be holding workouts in the coming weeks, and the Fish will continue to scout both. A move for either pitcher would be risky, whether it be because of Lincecum's ability, or Lee's health. With the Marlins not wanting to allocate much money to another starter, a move for either of these former aces is unlikely, but a team can never have too much pitching.
Depth is key for a team wanting to play in October, and having a Cy Young winner on the roster cannot hurt. If the Marlins could possibly lure either of these two to Miami on a reasonable contract, they should. The worst case scenario would be that the Fish show the players and the fans that they are trying to win, even if the move doesn't pan out. The best case scenario: Lee/Lincecum produces an above-average season or better, and the rotation goes from good to great.
Pulling off either of these moves would be a leap of faith, but by doing so, the Marlins could leap into the playoffs.