The Marlins are considering free agent southpaw Joe Saunders, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter). If signed, Saunders would join Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez, leaving Chris Volstad as either rotation depth or perhaps a trade candidate.
Saunders was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks two weeks ago and since then has been connected to a number of teams, including the Red Sox, Rockies, Reds and Tigers. Saunders posted a 3.69 ERA in 33 starts for Arizona last year, though his advanced metrics (a 4.71 SIERA and a 4.38 xFIP) and low strikeout totals (4.6 K/9) indicate that Saunders received some good fortune in 2011.
MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (via Twitter) is less optimistic about a Saunders/Marlins pairing, saying the club "may eventually seek" Saunders but with Buehrle already in the fold, Miami "is not ideally looking to have two soft tossing lefties in their rotation." Saunders, however, threw 212 innings last year and when combined with Buehrle (205 1/3 IP), Nolasco (206), Sanchez (196 1/3), he would add even more durability to a rotation whose ace (Johnson) is still a question mark after missing much of last year with a shoulder injury.