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Marlins finalize plan to acquire starting pitching

A trade or two seems likely.

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The Miami Marlins know they will have to find a way to acquire pitchers that will fill the rotation, especially after the death of Jose Fernandez. While no one will be able to fully replace him, Miami will try to fill the void left by his passing. With a weak free agent pitching market, Miami knows that they will have to be creative.

Miami has no plans of trading outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich, and they are not making catcher J.T. Realmuto available, either, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. It would take the king’s ransom for Miami to trade these players, and they don’t expect that kind of a return for any of those players. Miami would prefer not to trade outfielder Marcell Ozuna or second baseman Dee Gordon, but they are willing to listen to offers.

Miami will probably want high-end pitching for Ozuna because his value is greater than his expected salary. With Gordon's 80-game PED suspension in 2016 and since he just got a five-year, $50 million contract extension, Miami is aware that his trade value is likely less than his overall value, according to Jackson. Miami is most likely to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and utility man Derek Dietrich to acquire a starting pitcher.

Miami believes Dietrich is starter-caliber, according to Jackson, so Miami will want quality pitching in return. Marlins officials will meet this week to come up with a strategy, Jackson adds. Unless they change their minds, Miami is unlikely to have the budget to acquire the most expensive free agent pitchers such as Jeremy Hellickson or Rich Hill. Plus, Stanton’s contract jumps from $9 million to $14.5 million next season.

In 2018, it will be between $25 million and $32 million for the next 11 seasons. Stanton has an opt-out after 2020. Stanton has a no-trade clause and would need to approve any deal.