Marlins reportedly in on Lester
MIAMI — Winning eight of nine has the Marlins in complete “buy mode” as Thursday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches.
It appears the club is aiming high in its search for veteran help to make a playoff push.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, Miami is one of seven teams who have reached out to the Red Sox regarding Jon Lester.
If the front office is looking to send a signal to the clubhouse and South Florida fan base, pulling off a deal for the two-time World Series champion would do the trick.
Lester, owed just over $4 million for the rest of the season, would be a rental, because he will be a free agent in the fall.
The asking price in terms of prospects would certainly be high. So the question would be how much Miami would be willing to give up for a shot at making a serious push in the final two months.
Bowden reported the Blue Jays, Brewers, Mariners, Cardinals, Dodgers and Orioles also have expressed interest in Lester.
The Marlins are suddenly rejuvenated after taking six of seven at Atlanta and Houston. On Monday night, the club pulled off its biggest comeback of the year — rallying to a 7-6 victory over the Nationals after trailing by six.
Ideally, the Marlins would like more than a rental. They’d prefer a starter with controllable years. None of the candidates would make the immediate impact of Lester.
The Marlins are in a tricky spot because they are a game under .500, and have plenty of ground to make up. They’re six games behind the Nationals and 5 1/2 games behind the Braves.
Miami has greatly exceeded expectations, and also are looking for a second baseman.
The rotation has been without Jose Fernandez since May, when the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Miami is open to moving prospects, but is trying to avoid dealing Andrew Heaney.
The Marlins also are looking to avoid moving anyone off their active roster.
– Joe Frisaro