The Marlins are known to be seeking starting pitching, and the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported over the weekend that “Miami has had interest” in a trade for Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova this winter. The match makes some sense on paper, as Nova, who is reportedly being shopped by the Yankees, will be affordable at a projected $4.4MM (via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz), which would come in well within Miami’s budget. The Marlins have been linked to starters and said to be comfortable in the range of a $12MM annual value, so Nova’s relatively modest salary shouldn’t be a problem. The link to Nova continues somewhat of a recent shift in reports pertaining to Miami’s search for rotation upgrades; the Marlins have now been connected to Nova, Doug Fister, Cliff Lee and Edwin Jackson within the past week — all likely one-year commitments. Previously, the team was linked to multi-year deals for starting pitchers and was also said to be eyeing young starting pitching in trade scenarios with a variety of teams, including the Indians and Mariners. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna could yet return a notable starting pitcher, but Miami’s asking price on the 24-year-old has been high (he certainly wouldn’t be in play in any talks for Nova).
A few more notes from the NL East…
- “We’re still talking with players and looking for ways to add to our overall depth,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro yesterday when asked about the team’s starting pitching. As things currently stand, Frisaro lists Jarred Cosart, Tom Koehler, Adam Conley and either Justin Nicolino or David Phelps as the four starters that would follow Jose Fernandez in the rotation. Clearly, there’s a good deal of uncertainty there, and Frisaro runs down some other internal options that are either MLB-ready or close to earning that distinction, including right-hander Jose Urena, right-hander Kendry Flores and left-hander Jarlin Garcia.
- Michael A. Taylor’s role with the Nationals in 2016 is up in the air at this time, writes Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. While Taylor, who is entering his age-25 season, showed impressive defense and a nice blend of speed/power last season in an unexpectedly regular role (necessitated by injuries to Denard Span and Jayson Werth), he also struck out in nearly 31 percent of his plate appearances and displayed a lack of plate discipline, thereby yielding OBP questions. As things stand right now, Taylor is penciled in as Washington’s opening day center fielder. However, the team’s reported interest in names like Jason Heyward, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra seems to indicate some discontent with the current outfield trio, Janes notes. Interestingly, she doesn’t seem to think that Taylor would head to Triple-A for regular at-bats even in the event of a significant outfield addition, instead writing that Taylor “would likely slide into the role of superutility outfielder,” spelling the aging, injury-prone Werth and others as needed.
- The Mets are still open to signing a veteran arm for their bullpen, writes MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo in his latest Inbox column. Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins are locks to fit in, and at least three of Sean Gilmartin, Erik Goeddel, Carlos Torres, Logan Verrett and Hansel Robles should end up in the ’pen as well, DiComo writes (or, presumably, four of the five, in absence of the aforementioned veteran addition). With lefties Josh Smoker and Dario Alvarez as well as righties Jim Henderson and Rafael Montero also serving as possibilities, the team does have quite a bit of depth, DiComo notes.