Here’s the latest from south Florida…
- The Marlins have some interest in veteran lefty C.J. Wilson, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Wilson “isn’t on the verge of making a decision” about his next team, though the southpaw does intend to play in 2017 after being sidelined since July 2015 due to elbow and shoulder injuries. Jackson notes that Miami had interest in Wilson the last time he was a free agent, prior to his signing a five-year, $77.5MM deal with the Angels following the 2011 season.
- In another item from Jackson, he wouldn’t be surprised if the Marlins pursue left-hander Jon Niese. Like Wilson, Niese is another veteran who’d be available at a relatively low price, which fits the Marlins’ plans of adding starting pitching without breaking the bank. Niese posted a 5.50 ERA over 121 innings with the Pirates and Mets last season, delivering his usual low-strikeout, high-grounder arsenal but allowing a whopping 22.1% home run rate. A move to Marlins Park would theoretically help Niese avoid the long ball, though PNC Park and Citi Field also aren’t generally homer-friendly stadiums. Niese is a free agent after the Mets declined his $10MM club option for 2017, instead paying the lefty a $500K buyout.
- Marcell Ozuna has often been cited as a potential trade chip for Miami, though MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro believes that dealing Ozuna and then spending big to sign another outfielder (i.e. Dexter Fowler) doesn’t make financial sense. Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich are both getting raises next year, so signing a player like Fowler would put the Fish in line for roughly $42MM in salary for just three outfielders. If Ozuna was to be dealt, the more likely scenario for a replacement is that the Marlins sign a short-term veteran to platoon with Ichiro Suzuki.
- Also as part of Frisaro’s mailbag piece, he looks at the Marlins’ need for pitching and opines that Doug Fister would be a good fit in Miami. If Frisaro was in charge, he would look to free agency rather than the trade market since he would “be really reluctant to deal any of the core position players off the big league roster” due to “a shortage of organizational depth.”