Deadline approach, search continues

MIAMI — Scratch Jon Lester’s name off the board. So that leaves, John Lackey, Wade Miley, Tommy Milone and John Danks as names connected to the Marlins.

Actually, scratch Milone’s name, too, off the list. Milone, too, is off the board.

The clock is ticking towards Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Miami is expected to be active. But can the front office complete a deal?

The big splash of the morning came with reports that the Red Sox had sent Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes.

About two hours after the Lester deal broke, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, reported Milone has been dealt to the Twins.

The Red Sox have been looking for big league ready outfielders, and they got one in Cespedes. Which explains why, from the Marlins, they were eyeing Christian Yelich.

Miami has no interest in moving any core players off its 25-man roster. So there wasn’t a fit for Lester.

The search is for a starting pitcher with controllable years. Milone right now may make the most sense of pitchers available, mainly because the A’s clearly have a surplus of starters.

Still, there is competition for starters, as Miami saw with Milone. The 27-year-old lefty s 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA, and he is 32-22 (3.84) in 80 big league appearances with 78 starts.

His contract status is favorable to Miami, because he becomes arbitration eligible for the first time in 2015.

Danks, 29, is being mentioned. The lefty with the White Sox is signed through 2016 for $14,250 million in each of the next two years. It’s hard to imagine the Marlins would pick up that entire salary.

Miami has prospects and a competitive balance pick in 2015 that could be used as trade pieces.

Boston also is probably leaning heavily towards moving Lackey, who has a favorable contract for 2015 (league minimum). That said, the Red Sox are seeking to return to glory in 2015 and they are asking for big pieces. But perhaps a close to big league ready pitching prospect could complete a deal?

If Miami is to make a statement and a push, it will need some more pieces. An experienced starting pitcher would send a strong signal to a re-energized roster.

Joe Frisaro

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