Miami Marlins sign Jacob Turner, add to rotation competition

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Jacob Turner
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Jacob Turner /

The Miami Marlins find themselves needing to sign cheap players capable of holding down the fort. Jacob Turner does exactly that.

The toxicity engulfing the Miami Marlins franchise isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Not until they make the playoffs will fans view the 2017 firesale as justified. The upcoming season could see the Marlins win as few as 60-games.

But it’s the means to an end. If sustainable success is the goal, a rebuild is the way to get there. Short-term misery as a way to long-term relevancy is a painful, but necessary course. The Derek Jeter led ownership group has committed themselves to it.

But you still have to trot some bodies onto the field for 162-games, even if you know you’ll lose most of them. That’s why the Miami Marlins signed a familiar face in Jacob Turner.

Turner was supposed to compete for a spot in the Miami Marlins starting rotation in 2012, and 2013. The Marlins acquired him from the Tigers, along with catcher Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn, for Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez.

He didn’t pan out, and the Marlins shipped him off to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two players that never cracked the big leagues. Since then, Turner has bounced around the league; he’s made appearances with the White Sox, and a cameo with the Nationals last season.

Turner has never put together a great season in the Major Leagues, but he’s been average enough, long enough. He figures to make the Miami Marlins big league team after signing a minor league contract with them earlier this week.

But Turner isn’t guaranteed a spot on the roster just because he’s getting an invitation to spring training. The starting rotation will be an open audition for a number of players. Turner is only one of them.

From dearth to depth

Last season, the Miami Marlins struggled to put a competent starter on the mound every game. While their offense boomed, their rotation faltered. When the season ended, many felt the Marlins were “a starter or two away” from being a competitive ball club.

Regardless of what Marlins fans hoped the offseason would look like, the team is rebuilding. Derek Jeter has stripped away the most dynamic offensive players on the roster. The starting rotation was the weakest part of the team last year; it’s the strongest this year.

It’s safe to assume they’ll trade Dan Straily at some point this offseason. Even when they do, there will be plenty of pitchers competing for one-of-five available spots.

Jose Urena, Adam Conley, Dillon Peters, Chris O’Grady, Justin Nicolino, Jarlin Garcia, Brett Graves, Elieser Hernandez, and Caleb Smith will all make a push. Wei-Yin Chen could start the season on the disabled list, if he’s healthy, one of the available spots has his name on it.

Add Jacob Turner, as well as several other low risk signings the Marlins figure to make the rest of the offseason, and there are plenty of competent players competing for five spots.

Next: Miami Marlins overhaul should go beyond personnel change

Jacob Turner was brought into the fold to compete for a spot and add depth to the lower-levels if he doesn’t win one. The team isn’t promising him anything. With the lowered expectations for the Miami Marlins this year, there are a number of options for them to choose from to fill their need.

Management will favor younger, in-house options that are team controllable. Turner will have find major success whilst other players fail to seize the opportunity.