Bronson Arroyo was drawing a notable amount of interest from numerous clubs. He ultimately accepted a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training from the Nationals. The Marlins simply missed out.
Arroyo, 38, has been plagued by elbow injuries and last pitched for the Diamondbacks in 2014. Over 86.0 innings with Arizona, he pitched to a 4.08 ERA and 4.32 FIP. Maybe the Marlins were not convinced he would be able to remain healthy. However, they might not find a more affordable option.
Even after signing Wei-Yin Chen to an extensive deal, the Marlins have reportedly been hoping to add another top starter. Doug Fister was also thought to be on Miami's radar, but he signed a major league deal with the Astros.
The Marlins might not be in a position to sign another starter to a major league contract. That's why Arroyo was the ideal candidate.
Although he did not pitch last season, Arroyo has a notable amount of experience and is thought to be a quality player to have in a young clubhouse. He has logged at least 200.0 innings eight times in his career, and when healthy, can be an effective middle of the rotation starter. The Marlins' interest made sense since the club wants an affordable and experienced starting arm.
Washington has had one of the more interesting off-seasons. Some took the extra money and will play for the Nationals in 2016. However, others, such as Yoenis Cespedes and Darren O'Day, took less to play elsewhere. At several points this off-season, the Nationals have been considered toxic. Arroyo might be able to help change the clubhouse culture if it truly is a toxic environment.
There are plenty of available options for the Marlins. Alfredo Simon, Kyle Lohse, Tim Lincecum and Aaron Harang remain possibilities. Only one or two of those, though, could be in a position to accept a minor league contract.
If the Marlins do end up adding a starter, it is more likely depth is added on a minor league deal. It does not appear Miami has much payroll flexibility heading into 2016.
The challenge for the Marlins' front office now is to find a starter willing to take a minor deal. At this point, the organization could considering moving forward with the depth it has. Brad Hand, David Phelps, Justin Nicolino, Jose Urena, Edwin Jackson and Adam Conley are all potential starting options.
Miami still wants to add a starting pitcher and there is plenty of time. But Arroyo, who took a minor league deal and could bounce back, might have proven to be the ideal option.