The Marlins could win a playoff spot this season, writes ESPN’s Jayson Stark. They have a terrific young outfield, they made a variety of moves this offseason to upgrade their infield (adding Mike Morse, Dee Gordon and Martin Prado) and rotation (adding Mat Latos and Dan Haren), and they have an extremely high-upside unknown in Jose Fernandez, who’s returning from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins will, clearly, be swimming upstream as they chase a superstar-laden Nationals team, but perhaps a Wild Card isn’t unrealistic. Here’s more from the National League.
- The Diamondbacks could make a move to clear payroll by the end of Spring Training, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. Aaron Hill and Cody Ross are candidates to be dealt, writes Rosenthal. It’s hard to imagine the D-backs would be able to unload much of the $9.5MM left on Ross’ contract, however, and Hill’s $24MM through 2016 might be only somewhat less tricky. Rosenthal suggests the team might be more likely to trade Mark Trumbo in July.
- The Cardinals have been impressed with Jaime Garcia’s work this spring, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Garcia is competing with Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales for the Cards’ fifth starter job. “Had you and I had this conversation eight weeks ago I don’t think we’d be talking about it in the same way we are right now,” says GM John Mozeliak. “I didn’t know what to expect from him frankly, and everything we’ve seen has been very surprising. And very positive.” Garcia has, of course, had a long string of arm problems, but his strong work in Spring Training puts him in decent shape to make the rotation anyway, since the Cardinals can easily just put Martinez in the bullpen and Gonzales in the rotation at Triple-A Memphis. Having Garcia in the rotation allows them to retain their depth, and Mozeliak says the Cardinals are not interested in trading him.