Signing veteran starter Felix Hernandez makes all the sense in the world if you are the Miami Marlins.
According to reports, veteran pitcher Felix Hernandez is receiving attention from MLB teams, which means he could be in another uniform this spring. It is not known if the Miami Marlins are one of those teams but signing him to at least a minor league deal would make sense.
"Per Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, “Former Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has already made clear he won’t be hanging up his spikes.”"
As Jon Heyman wrote on his Twitter account, there is interest, but it is not clear how many teams are interested in the 33-year-old Venezuelan. He played 14 seasons in the Majors, all of them in Seattle and is considered one of the best pitchers in the history of the ballclub.
The Marlins could use his services as a back of the rotation starter to help balance a young core of pitchers who had their ups and downs last season. This would certainly be a low-risk, high reward type of situation that could pay off for the player and the Marlins front office.
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"“Hernandez may be a former Cy Young winner who sat atop the hierarchy of baseball’s very best pitchers from 2009-14, but his decline into a back-of-the-rotation arm and, more recently, a liability on the mound was rather swift. Over the past two seasons, Hernandez has limped to a dismal 5.82 ERA / 5.44 FIP in 227 1/3 innings,” Adams adds."
The Marlins have focused the majority of their attention on hitting this offseason and additions to the bullpen that was less than exciting last season. The need for another starter is not as demanding as other areas of need, but this could become another deal like Matt Kemp’s deal in Miami where Hernandez is signed to a minor-league deal and invited to Spring Training with a chance to make the team out of camp.
The Marlins signed Kemp last week to help their outfield depth and to add another veteran bat to the lineup.
Miami could also look at other veteran arms who could fill the same position. There are prospects in the minors – Sixto Sanchez, Nick Neidert and Edward Cabrera – who could win the spot in camp as well.
Adams believes some team will give Hernandez a shot this spring. I think it should be the Marlins.
"“A pitcher with Hernandez’s preternatural talent shouldn’t be totally counted out, particularly given that he won’t even turn 34 until April, but he’s purely a rebound candidate at this point,” he writes."