Marlins Rumors: Team Not in on James Shields or Max Scherzer


As was posted earlier today, Dan Haren will report to camp with the Miami Marlins, but would still prefer a trade. In the case the Marlins do find a trade partner for Haren, don’t expect the Marlins to fill the void left by Haren via a major free agency signing, ala James Shields or Max Scherzer. This is according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

"If the Marlins trade Haren, then David Phelps (acquired in the Martin Prado deal with the Yankees) or Brad Hand likely would be the fifth starter. The Marlins have not been involved in bidding for high-end free agents James Shields or Max Scherzer."

The Scherzer news is not surprising, as the Marlins have not been linked to the longtime Tiger all off-season. Coming off a season where he posted a 3.15 ERA, a 2.85 FIP, and a 5.6 fWAR, Scherzer is in the drivers seat to land one of the biggest free agent contracts for a starting pitcher in major league history. He’s well out of the Marlins price range.

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Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, and Giants have been rumored to be in and out of the Scherzer sweepstakes and all have deeper pockets than the Marlins.

Learning of the Marlins not being involved in the Shields sweepstakes is more of a mild surprise. While the team has shown interest in Shields of late, the $100 million plus price tag Shields is going to get has scared the Marlins off.

Shields is coming off another impressive season, one in which he posted a 3.21 ERA and a 3.59 FIP in 227 innings pitched. The 2014 was his 8th straight season of 200+ innings and fourth straight of at least 227 innings. Quite an impressive workload for any starter.

The Shields market is likely to involve the same teams the Scherzer market, but likely with a few more teams in on the lower price tag.

Either James Shields or Max Scherzer would have cost the Marlins a first round pick, as their pick this year is not in the top-1o protected section of the draft.

With the team in on neither James Shields or Max Scherzer, the team would turn to Brad Hand or David Phelps to be their fifth starter in case they find a trade partner for Haren. Neither should inspire much confidence for Marlins fans, even despite Brad Hand showing some signs of improvement over the second half in 2014.

Hand posted a 4.38 ERA, a 4.20 FIP, a lowly 5.13 K/9, and a 3.16 BB/9 in 2014, throwing 111 innings for the season. Of his 32 appearances, 16 of them were starts, making him hard to depend on for a full season of starts. He is also out of options, meaning the Marlins need to keep him on the 25-man roster or risk losing him to waivers.

Phelps, who came over in the Nathan Eovaldi-Martin Prado swap with the Yankees, is coming off a 4.38 ERA, 4.41 FIP, 7.33 K/9, and 3.66 BB/9 2014 campaign. He, like Hand, made 32 appearances, but only 17 of those were starts.

If Haren does not end up pitching for the Marlins in 2015, they’ll have to do better than Brad Hand or David Phelps, but neither James Shields or James Scherzer seem to be in the cards for the Fish.

Next: Haren will report to spring training with Marlins?