Would the Miami Marlins sign a high-priced pitcher in free agency to help the starting rotation?
There have been plenty of discussions this offseason about the Miami Marlins potentially adding a veteran arm to their young starting rotation. While Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith are virtual locks to be the No. 1 and No. 2 starters in 2020 if nothing changes, the Marlins could use an experienced veteran to balance the back end of the quintet.
The names have been mentioned. Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler, Jake Odorizzi. Some make more sense than others. And then, there is the case for Rick Porcello, who may not re-sign with Boston this offseason. The up-and-down veteran in the Red Sox rotation may excel once again in a different environment. Miami just might be the place where the 30-year-old can become an under-the-radar leader and find the magic that led to a successful 2016 season.
"“Rick Porcello had an interesting tenure in a Red Sox uniform – and that is to put it lightly,” writes Tim Starr of bosoxinjection.com. “He started off with an awful 2015 season, but then bounced right back in 2016 by winning the Cy Young award. Then, Porcello went from first to worst, leading the American League in wins in 2016, then leading in losses in 2017. Porcello had his most average season in 2018 while posting a 5.52 ERA in 2019.”"
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A roller-coaster season in the Majors is nothing new to the Marlins, who saw the success Alcantara enjoyed in the second half of 2019, but a lack of run support and bullpen meltdowns helped him suffer through a 6-14 season.
Smith was strong in the first part of the 2019 season, only to see him get injured and then deal with issues with the long ball on the road. Smith may have led the team with 10 wins, but his second half of the year did not mirror the first stanza.
Porcello, when he is on his game, would give the Marlins more consistency on the mound, as Starr points out.
"“Porcello is a veteran pitcher and has pitched in big spots since he came up as a rookie. He provides leadership and was always accountable throughout 2019,” he added. “While he is a quantity not quality kind of pitcher, if the trend continues he should have an okay year in 2020, then get lit up in 2021. Especially when coming off this bad of a season, Porcello should come cheap for any club that would like to sign him.”"
If the Marlins did take a look at Porcello, they would do so with the intention of spending over-the-top cash. In 2016, he signed a four year, $82.5 million deal with the Red Sox. The question is whether the front office will spend that kind of money on a pitcher when the organization must pay Wei-Yin Chen $22 million is 2020 and $16 million in 2021?