If the Marlins want to add a starting pitcher before the start of Spring Training, they will not have much additional money to do so.
Miami's 2016 payroll is not expected to change much before the season begins and the club "has very limited money to offer within the budget given to them by Jeffrey Loria," according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
Even after signing Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year deal, which was extensive and notably changed the payroll for this season, the Marlins appear open to signing at least one more starter to add to their rotation. As a result of what another addition could cost, adding another starter might only be realistic if the pitchers accepts a minor league deal.
Miami has a comparatively young club and as a result, adding another veteran in the clubhouse could prove to be beneficial. The Marlins have expressed interest in Kyle Lohse, Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum, who could all fill that void.
Lohse struggled with the Brewers last season and could be in a position to take a minor deal. However, like any of the remaining free agent starters, there is a chance he waits to see if he can receive a major league contract.
Lee likely has to prove he is healthy before teams consider signing him, but if he is, Miami remains a potential landing spot. Lincecum is set to pitch for teams this month and he too could accept a minor league deal.
Chen received an $80 million contract, so it follows the Marlins would not have a desire to spend on another starting arm. Doug Fister was being considered before he signed a one-year deal with the Astros, and Bronson Arroyo was also thought to be an option for the Marlins before signing a minor league contract with the Nationals.
The Marlins might not have to add another starter, since they have a notable amount of depth. But if Justin Nicolino, Adam Conley and Jose Urena need time to develop, the Marlins might be better off signing another available arm.
Miami's payroll has not changed much over the last few seasons and it is unlikely to do so in 2016. However, if there is a top starter the Marlins feel would make their rotation that much better, not having the payroll flexibility should not prevent a deal from getting done.