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MLB Winter Meetings: Marlins seeking starting pitching

Take a look at what the Marlins want and need.

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The baseball world will come together this week for the Winter Meetings, where things you have thought about and never considered both end up happening.

Here, we’ll take a look at the Marlins’ needs in advance of the annual meetings.

What’s already happened

It’s been a busy few months for the Marlins, who are entering the meetings in clear need of pitching depth.

Just days after the season ended, the club announced it signed Martin Prado to a new deal, so there is no need for Miami to seek third base depth.

Similarly, the Marlins signed Edinson Volquez last week, giving the club a veteran arm to join Adam Conley, Wei-Yin Chen and Tom Koehler.

Jeff Mathis signed a two-year deal with the Diamondbacks, leaving the Marlins without a backup catcher.

What the Marlins need

The simple answer here is the obvious one. The Marlins need more pitching.

Even after signing Volquez, the Marlins have an open rotation spot. While Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena could receive an opportunity to compete for it, the Marlins seem open to adding a veteran to give them extra time to develop. David Phelps is a candidate to start again, but he thrived in a setup role last season.

The Marlins might not be exclusively considering starting help. Miami is reportedly seeking bullpen depth, which would take pressure off of the starters.

This might not happen at the meetings, but now that Mathis is gone, the Marlins need a backup catcher, though Tomas Telis is an internal candidate to take Mathis’ spot.

A right-hitting first baseman to complement Justin Bour is also reportedly on the club’s radar, but that might not get done at the meetings, either.

Three Marlins to watch for in rumors

  1. Marcell Ozuna — Ozuna drew a notable amount of interest in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline and likely will do so again next week. It’s unlikely the Marlins trade Ozuna because they lack outfield depth, but he will be a player to watch as the club considers ways to add starting pitching.
  2. A.J. Ramos — The Marlins are reportedly considering trading Ramos, though that might be unlikely if they don’t land a top free agent closer. Ramos had a solid 2016, so there is a chance the Marlins trade him while he is most valuable.
  3. Adeiny Hechavarria — Again, Miami doesn’t have much shortstop depth, but he too could be moved at the meetings. Hechavarria’s defense has proven to be valuable, but the Marlins might want to consider adding a shortstop who can produce offensively on a routine basis.

Three players the Marlins could consider

  1. Doug Fister — Miami is going to need cheap starting help, and Fister might prove to bring that. He is coming off of a down year but has experience pitching within the National League East. A one-year deal might benefit both Fister and the Marlins.
  2. Kenley Jansen — The Marlins want to add to their bullpen, and though it’s likely a long shot, Jansen is an option. He pitched under Don Mattingly, but if Jansen wants the extensive deal some are projecting he will receive, that discussion will likely end relatively quickly.
  3. Jason Hammel — Chicago didn’t really need Hammel anymore, but he could be an under-the-radar candidate for the Marlins to consider. He was effective in 2016 and would add to a pitching staff with a mix of veterans and younger starters.

What we could expect

It’s unrealistic to expect the Marlins to address all of their needs, but they could address several. Look for the Marlins to leave the meetings with another starting pitcher and backup catcher.