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Marlins ‘don’t expect to invest a lot of resources’ in bullpen

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The unit finished the regular season eighth in the NL in ERA.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins “don’t expect to invest in a lot of resources” in order to upgrade their bullpen this off-season, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

• The Marlins are open to a return by free-agent lefty Mike Dunn and haven’t ruled out bringing back Bryan Morris. They don’t expect to invest a lot of resources in the bullpen, which has AJ Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and a few other talented young arms.

Though the bullpen had several unanswered questions entering the season, it proved to be one of the more productive units in the league. Miami’s bullpen pitched to a 3.63 ERA, which ranks eighth in the National League.

While the Marlins were dependent on several young arms early, the club remained aggressive and acquired Fernando Rodney in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. Rodney struggled to throw strikes in a setup role but has some success as the team’s closer.

Miami is unlikely to exercise Rodney’s club option for 2017, though, according to Jackson.

Mike Dunn is also eligible to become a free agent, and while the Marlins could consider re-signing him, the organization might feel comfortable moving forward with Hunter Cervenka as its primary left-handed relief option.

AJ Ramos and Kyle Barraclough both had productive seasons, but the Marlins could still consider adding depth at the back of their bullpen. Nick Wittgren and Brian Ellington similarly capitalize on the opportunities the Marlins gave them. If the Marlins consider signing any free agent relievers, middle relievers might be the target.

As the off-season approaches, the Marlins are in need of starting pitching help, and could address the need via a trade or the free agent market. Adding a bat might also prove to be ideal, and as a result, Miami is unlikely to make many changes with regard to its bullpen.