In the first major deal of the summer involving a starting pitcher, the Red Sox acquired lefty Drew Pomeranz from the Red Sox in exchange for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza.
On Thursday night, Boston’s starting rotation improved, as did San Diego’s depth.
Now that Pomeranz, who has been linked to the Marlins over the last few weeks, is off the board in an already thin trade market for starting pitching, it’s necessary to acknowledge the reality of the situation: Pomeranz probably wasn’t a top Marlins target.
Miami, which enters play Friday in St. Louis tied with the Mets for one of two Wild Card spots in the National League, is known to be seeking starting pitching. As has been the case in years past, the Marlins want a controllable starter rather than a rental.
Pomeranz would have filled both needs, though he hasn’t been deemed an ace or front-end of the rotation arm. Beyond Julio Teheran (and depending on your opinion of the down Sonny Gray), there really isn’t one available.
Although the Marlins, according to numerous reports from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, expressed interest in Pomeranz and want to add a starter to a rotation that lacks stability beyond Jose Fernandez and Adam Conley, Pomeranz was unlikely the club’s top choice.
MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman reported the Marlins didn’t trust Pomeranz, who pitched to a 2.47 ERA and 3.18 FIP over 102.0 innings in the first half of the season. His 3.66 career ERA and 3.19 FIP could be among the reasons why.
Miami already has a pair of lefties in the rotation in Wei-Yin Chen and Conley and there isn’t much of a reason to consider adding a third. Justin Nicolino, who is expected to open the second half in Triple-A, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, has served as a third but hasn’t had much success.
The Marlins have also been connected to Gray, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi and Ervin Santana, and since the Red Sox parted with a top prospect to win now, Miami might have to consider doing the same if it wants to add a starter.
Two great seasons over three years isn’t enough to justify parting with a key minor league piece. The Marlins, who are positioning themselves to take advantage of weaknesses within the division the next few seasons, already lost one, Chris Paddack, in the Fernando Rodney deal.
Miami could still add a starter but could be and should be hesitant since the price is so high. Regardless, Pomeranz probably wasn’t the club’s top target and it’s probably better that way.