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Marlins might pursue Jon Niese

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Photo: Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins are looking to upgrade their pitching rotation while also trying to not spend so much on a starting pitcher. Along with veteran C.J. Wilson, the Marlins are targeting southpaw Jon Niese, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Like Wilson, Niese should be available at a low price, which is what Miami is looking for in a starting pitcher. Miami would prefer not to break the bank while still being able to add starting pitching. Niese pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets last year.

He was traded by New York to Pittsburgh for second baseman Neil Walker before the season. The Mets would get Niese back at the August 1 trade deadline. In his return with the Mets, Niese made only two starts before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He became a free agent after the Mets payed him a $500,000 buyout.

Niese, 30, went 8-7 with a 5.50 ERA in 121 innings pitched. He posted a 1.59 WHIP with 88 strikeouts in 20 starts. He sported a home run rate of 22.1%, but a move to Marlins Park could help lower that rate. The Mets selected Niese in the seventh round of the 2005 MLB Draft. He made his major league debut in 2008. Over his career, Niese is 69-68 with a 4.07 ERA, while also striking out 914 batters.