The Miami Marlins have come into the Winter Meetings taking place in San Diego with the intent of improving their ball-club. The team in the past week has been linked to the top hitter left on the free agent market, Chase Headley, but we’re not sure where the team stands on his front at this point. On Monday, the first day of the Winter Meetings, the Marlins met with another prospective free agent target, Justin Masterson. This according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
"Free-agent pitcher Justin Masterson, looking for a big bounce-back year, has met with the Red Sox and has meetings set up here at the winter meetings with the Marlins, White Sox and possibly Cubs."
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This is not the first time that the Marlins have been linked to Masterson, as we’ve heard about potential interest in the right hander earlier this off-season. This is what I wrote about Masterson back when the first report of interest in him from the Marlins was reported:
"So I hope if the Marlins are interested in Masterson, they are looking at him as a buy-low candidate on a one-year deal, instead of a long-term deal as a potential top of the rotation guy. While a bounceback season is not out of the question for the guy that posted a 3.45 ERA and a 3.35 FIP in 2013, the 2014 season should be a major red flag for a guy that’s about to enter his age 30 season."
I still believe in Masterson as a good buy-low guy, especially if he can be had for a one-year deal. His injury history make me vary of the team guaranteeing more than one season, but it might take that with the interest he’s garnering early on.
Masterson was traded at the trade deadline from the Indians to the Cardinals. He made 9 appearances (6 starts) with the Cards, posting a 7.04 ERA and a 5.84 FIP. His season ERA was 5.88 and his FIP 4.50. He posted a 3.45/3.35 ERA/FIP in 2012, so any team attempting to sign him will be hoping for those type of numbers.