Miami remains focused on adding another starter to its rotation, but the club has reportedly considered signing another left-handed reliever to add to its bullpen.
Matt Thornton is still on the market and is drawing interest from at least six clubs, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. If the Marlins are truly interested in adding another reliever, they should be among them.
Cafardo points out Thornton is likely in a position to take a minor league deal, which could also be ideal for the Marlins. The club reportedly does not want a 2016 payroll over $75 million, and if Thornton accepts a minor league deal, that could remain realistic.
Over the last few seasons, the club's bullpen has been predominantly right-handed. Before Aroldis Chapman was acquired by the Yankees, the Marlins were reportedly among the clubs interested in the left-handed closer.
Since Carter Capps and A.J. Ramos appear set to compete for the closing job this spring, the Marlins might not be in a position to add a left-handed closer. Another power arm to complement Mike Dunn could prove to be beneficial as the season progresses.
Miami signed Randy Choate to a two-year deal in December 2010 but has lacked a lefty specialist since. Dunn has been the primary lefty in the Marlins' bullpen, with Brad Hand receiving playing time as a long reliever.
Thornton, 39, pitched to a 2.18 ERA and 3.52 FIP over 41.1 innings with the Nationals last season. He would likely prove to be a productive complement to Mike Dunn, who has the ability to get both left and right-handed hitters out consistently.
Thornton's fastball still clocks in over 90 mph, and as a result, the Marlins could use him as a left-handed specialist. The Marlins have lacked a match up lefty since signing Choate and having one would likely make their bullpen that much better in 2016.
If the Marlins want to add another lefty, Thornton is a viable option. But first, the club could continue its pursuit of another