Miami Marlins Rumors: Marlins to Pursue Zack Greinke?


The Miami Marlins seem to be interested in bringing in Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly as the next manager of the team. Could they also be interested in bringing some pitching help, along with Mattingly from L.A., to Miami?

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Miami Marlins are one of the teams he lists to be in the hunt for top starting pitching, including the likes of Zack Greinke.

"In addition to the incumbent Dodgers, several more big-market and others teams are expected to be in the hunt for top starting pitching, including the rival Giants plus the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Marlins, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Braves, Rangers (and more)."

Greinke will opt out of a contract with the Dodgers, that has $71 million over three years remaining, according to various reports, including Heyman. Greinke, who turns 32 Wednesday, is hoping to cash in likely for the final time in his MLB career in free agency. Greinke signed a 6-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers in December of 2012.

That contract allowed him to opt out of his contract after three seasons, which sets him up for his likely last big payday on the open market. He’s likely to best that deal in free agency this off-season, at least according to one GM that Heyman spoke with.

"one GM suggested he should get multiple offers for $125 million over five years, at a minimum, with the likely winning bid at about $150 million over five years, or perhaps even more."

For a guy coming off a season in which he posted a 1.66 ERA, and a 2.76 FIP in 222 2/3 innings of work, resulting in a career high fWAR of 5.9 for 2015. That does not sound like an overpay, considering the free agent market today.

Whether that signing is a smart one for a franchise to take on is an entirely different discussion.

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It’s interesting that Heyman lists the Marlins as one of the teams that could be in on Greinke, as the team has a clear need to upgrade their pitching staff. Including staff ace Jose Fernandez, the Marlins rotation features a ton of uncertainty heading into the 2016 off-season.

Fernandez has not pitched an entire season since his rookie season in 2013, and the team’s number two guy, Henderson Alvarez, only made 4 starts in 2015. Jarred Cosart was mostly ineffective or hurt most of the season and is a question mark heading into next year. David Phelps missed the final two months with an elbow injury. The team’s top two pitching prospects in the higher levels, Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena, did not look great in their first major league stints, as their lack of strikeout ability limited their ability to retire major league hitters.

The team’s most reliable starter for 2015 was Tom Koehler, who threw 187 innings this year, but posted a well below league average FIP of 4.53 for the year. Rookie Adam Conley was reliable in the season’s final month, but he’ll need to prove himself again next year to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.

While there is an obvious need for Greinke in the Marlins rotation, the price tag for his services his what’s likely to keep the Marlins out of the hunt for the right-handed star pitcher. The Marlins are not expected to significantly increase their payroll in 2016, which with a ton of players headed to arbitration, could likely rule out the possibility of Greinke.

Adding Zack Greinke in a rotation behind Jose Fernandez, with a hopefully healthy Henderson Alvarez would make an ideal off-season for Marlins fans, but it seems to be a pie-in-the-sky kind of dream right now.

Next: Marlins: Value and Construction of Roster

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