What if the Marlins keep Jose Urena in 2020?

With Spring Training only a few days away, it looks like the Miami Marlins will keep pitcher Jose Urena on the roster – for now.

One of the biggest moves the Marlins has made this offseason is the one the team has not made yet.

There has been plenty of speculation since even before the end of the 2019 season that the team would like to move pitcher Jose Urena to free up space in the bullpen for another young arm or a veteran who can help stabilize the relief corps. In what can only be described as a rocky season, Urena posted a 4-10 record and spent time in the rotation, on the injured list, and then in the bullpen. The Marlins are going to need more from him this coming season if he looks to stick around a bit longer.

With only a couple of days remaining, until the team hosts pitchers and catchers for the beginning of spring training, Urena looks to be one of the players who will be on the opening day roster. Where he fits in the equation has yet to be determined. There is still a good chance, given that there is an opening, he finds his way to the rotation as the fifth starter.

And because no activity has happened yet, the longer he remains in Jupiter, the better his chances are to stick around.

The Marlins announced that they have designated both Jarlin Garcia, who was signed by the San Francisco Giants and Jose Quijada, who was snatched up by the Los Angeles Angels last week, which was a curious decision given the lack of left-handers in the pen. Miami did make several moves during hot stove to bring in other arms whom the front office believes will be more effective.

“After considering moving Ureña to the bullpen, the organization now plans on heading into Spring Training with the right-hander competing for a rotation spot. He’s making $3.75 million, which makes him affordable,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

“Ureña’s best success in the big leagues has been starting. In 2018, he had a 3.98 ERA in 174 innings, all as a starter. Whether he gets traded likely will come down to how he’s performing in Spring Training, as well as if the rest of the rotation appears sound.”

This also means Urena may become the team’s long reliever while Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider work in short relief as a setup man for Brandon Kintzler.

If there is a move the team makes with their veteran, it may come toward the end of the 2020 season.

“I could see the July 31 Trade Deadline as a realistic time to move Ureña, especially if pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera appear ready, and there is a surplus of starters,” Frisaro added.

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