The Miami Marlins — like the rest of Major League Baseball — have witnessed the monster free-agent deals that have textured for starting pitching.
Gerrit Cole: nine years, $324 million with the Yankees.
Stephen Strasburg: seven years, $245 million to re-sign with the Nationals.
Zack Wheeler: five years, $118 million with the Phillies.
Even Tanner Roark has a $24 million deal in place with the Blue Jays for two years, Cole Hamels $18 million for one year with the Braves and Jordan Lyles $16 million contract for two years with the Rangers.
It makes the Marlins appreciate the young, controllable starting pitching they have at their clearance.
It also makes them an easy goal for other teams interested in trading for that young, manageable starting pitching.
As of Wednesday, the third day of MLB’s yearly winter meetings, the Marlins have been communicated by more than half the league regarding the accessibility of pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, and Pablo Lopez.
“There are still teams, a lot of teams, that call on our pitching because it’s young, it’s good, and it’s feasible,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “That’s always the case. If you have good, young, feasible pitching, you’re going to get phone calls. That has nothing to do with the market.”
But make no mistake: It would take a lot — a lot — for the Marlins to even anticipate parting way with any of their quality young members of the rotation.
“It’s a frightening thought,” Hill said to Wednesday about trading away those pitchers.
“It is a frightening thought when you think about the market and how tough it was to acquire the starting pitching that we acquired. It would have to be a portion that we really feel is a big part of the near term and the future for us to part with it. … You feel ease knowing that you don’t have to go into that market to get it.”
Indeed, the Marlins have put themselves in respectable position with their rotation over the first two years of their reconstruct under the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter ownership group.
Hill can jangle off a dozen Marlins pitchers who, in any five-person mixture, could make up the team’s starting rotation during the next two years.