Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Marlins are actively open to trade talks for starting pitcher Jacob Turner:
Mariners, DBacks are possible fits for Marlins starter Jacob Turner; Marlins having active trade talks because of quality pitching depth.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 20, 2014
The reason he is even available is due to the fact that he is out of options: i.e., sending Turner to the minors would require the Fish to expose him to waivers, where he would absolutely be claimed by at least half the teams in the majors. Thus the Marlins want to turn their surplus into future depth and quality.
Turner is almost 23 years old and won’t even be arbitration eligible until 2016. He was 3-8 for the Marlins in 2013, pitching over 170 innings – 118 of those in the majors – with a 3.74 major league ERA. His walks were a little high, but that was unusual for him. Turner tends to keep the ball down – and in the park. He isn’t a strikeout specialist, but – did I mention that he’s available and young?
Yes – other teams need him a lot, notably those listed above by Morosi. But so does Atlanta. Here’s the latest on their own rotation situation:
- Kris Medlen. Out for the year; likely through Spring 2015.
- Brandon Beachy. Out for the year; likely through Spring 2015.
- Gavin Floyd. It really scares me to think that he may try to return after only 11 months post-surgery. We’ll see. Regardless, don’t expect him to start logging 7 or 8 inning outings with regularity.
- Mike Minor. Looking like the end of April.
- Ervin Santana. Looked pretty good today – maybe second week of the season.
- Julio Teheran. Will be Opening Day starter, barring any issues.
- Alex Wood. May very well be the #2 starter.
- Freddy Garcia. May very well be the #3 starter. This is where we start getting queasy.
- David Hale. May very well be the #4 starter to begin the year.
- Hopefully Santana is ready to go by the time a 5th starter is actually needed.
Beyond that, there’s no depth. None. The AAA pitchers that have been throwing in the Spring games have not performed well, aside from Gus Schlosser, who is still in the running for a bullpen slot (and I think he’ll get it expressly because of the shakiness of our rotation).
If the Braves pursued Turner…
Then the rotation by May/June could look like this:
That’s a lot better looking than what things look like entering the season. Plus, there’s the depth thing – important given my own concerns about Gavin Floyd coming back so soon. The only complication is that Jacob Turner still would not have any options: he’d be on the major league roster… or bust. But Wood and Turner in that 5th slot… or subbing for Floyd… would make perfect sense.
Frankly, this would be an important acquisition for the future as well. In his piece earlier today, Fred let us know just how common it is for pitchers to return strong from a second Tommy John procedure. Hint: it’s not. Ergo, if even one of those guys ever pitches effectively for Atlanta again, then the odds will have been beaten.
Also – look at this rotation: Gavin Floyd? Will be a free agent and gone after the year. Ervin Santana? Same thing. We’ll get to the end of the year and suddenly be shopping for pitchers again. It therefore does make sense to consider doing this right now.
What Do the Marlins Want for Turner?
My own suspicion is that Joey Terdoslavich would be the biggest loss from the roster if this were to become a serious pursuit. He’s versatile, athletic, and can hit. He’s also perfect for the Marlins given that he can play first base or left field.
Other possibilities: Though they have Rafael Furcal, word is that second base is a priority. Phil Gosselin could fill that spot ably. He also can take left field in a pinch (as he did today). First base is also an area of need. Ernesto Mejia is the obvious choice, there. The downside is that his fielding is … poor. His hitting is enough to consider, though, since he would provide competent protection behind Giancarlo Stanton.
There are lots of other piece/parts that could be discussed – and in all honesty, the Braves would miss none of these guys, given the new contract situations Frank Wren has engineered. The biggest deterrent would be whether the Marlins would even entertain the idea if trading Turner within the division.
It’s hardly a lock that Frank Wren would entertain this… at this point, there is no noise about such a move. But it’s certainly worth investigating, particularly given the novelty of such a pitcher becoming available.