Despite most of the focus being on the potential extension with Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins are still very much in the hunt for starting pitching, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Spencer goes on to say that the Marlins could target free agents Ervin Santana or Kyle Kendrick, or possibly go the trade-route and make a bid for Ubaldo Jimenez or Johnny Cueto.
With ace Jose Fernandez currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Marlins current staff is composed of five guys with an average age of just 25 years old. But don't let the youth fool you, the Fish return a lot of talent. Between Jared Cosart, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins have three different pitchers that have posted sub-3.50 ERA seasons in the big leagues. #4 starter Tom Koehler is entering his third full season with the Marlins, and is coming off a career best 3.81 ERA over 32 starts.
The Marlins would love to add a veteran to the mix, but it would have to be at the right price. Cueto, coming off a 2.25 ERA in 2014, would be a huge get, but he may not be available this offseason. If the Reds aren't willing to part with Cueto, the Marlins could inquire on Matt Latos or Mike Leake. While Cueto is clearly the ace of the Reds staff, Latos has posted five straight sub-3.50 ERA's and Leake has been solid over 30+ starts each of the last 3 seasons.
Cueto would be nice, but Jimenez is more likely to be available this offseason. After posting an average WAR of 5.3 from 2008-2010, Jimenez has seen his stock drop significantly in his stints with the Indians and Orioles. He appeared to bounce back in 2013, posting a 3.30 ERA and a 9.56 K/9 rate, but he suffered a very disappointing season in 2014.
Ervin Santana would make a nice addition, but the attachment of a qualifying offer could detract the Marlins' interest. Kendrick profiles as a classic innings eater, and could fill the #5 spot if the Marlins chose to send #1 prospect Andrew Heaney back to the minors in 2015. Either way, it will be interesting to see who the Marlins acquire and how they get him.