Would the Miami Marlins consider bringing in veteran starter Gio Gonzalez to help a young rotation continue to develop?
The Miami Marlins have announced they have added Edward Cabrera, Sixto Sanchez and Nick Neidert to their 40-man roster, which means the three minor league prospects are closer to making their Major League debuts. While it still may be July before either pitcher steps onto the rubber at Marlins Park, does the recent move by the organization put an end to possibly adding a veteran arm to the rotation?
If not, does Miami potentially make a run at Gio Gonzalez? The 34-year-old lefty from Hialeah may be an arm to watch in free agency as the Marlins will still look to improve on the mound and at the plate.
Gonzalez was 3-2 last season with a 3.50 ERA, starting 17 games out of 19 appearances. In 87.1 innings he threw 78 strikeouts and had a 1.294 WHIP. He may not have the same stuff he did when he led the National League in wins in 2012, but he could be a low-risk, high-reward pitcher for the Marlins, who are still trying to get their young arms to produce on a more consistent basis.
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Gonzalez signed a one-year, $2-million deal with the Brewers last season, which could play right into the team’s plans of finding veterans to contribute to a youthful club without overspending to bring someone in. It was the same approach the front office used last offseason which netted Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, and Sergio Romo. Gonzalez could become the team’s fifth starter, with Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith getting the nod as the No.1 and No. 2 pitchers in the rotation.
Gonzalez may not be the only veteran arm Miami should pursue, especially if they can sign them to a one or two-year deal. Felix Hernandez should also be someone Miami signs, possibly to a minor league deal with the chance to make the opening day roster.
For his career, Gonzalez is 130-99 with a 3.68 ERA. He has appeared in two All-Star games in 2011 and 2012 with the Nationals.
The team will more than likely address their issues with the bullpen before looking at the rotation. As both Derek Jeter and Michael Hill have said this offseason, finding more hitters for the lineup has become the priority this offseason. Miami allowed veterans to leave in free agency and did not pick up the option on Starlin Castro’s final year of his contract.