The Marlins’ quest to upgrade their starting rotation figures to lead all the way up until Thursday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. But just because they want to be buyers, it doesn’t mean they plan to spend foolishly, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Wednesday.
One thing Hill said he has made clear to other clubs: “We’re not trying to take off our major-league club, not key components.”
“We’re trying to add,” Hill continued. “But to reshuffle or rob Peter to pay Paul doesn’t really accomplish what we’re trying to do.”
The Red Sox, shopping left-handed All-Star pitcher Jon Lester, reportedly wanted left fielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins in negotiations. The Marlins wanted no part of that.
Hill said while landing a rental like Lester “is not ideal” it is something the Marlins haven’t ruled out. “It all depends on the cost to acquire a rental and if it sidetracks what we’re trying to do in the long term,” he said.
Second base remains an area the Marlins would like to address, but that probably will get tabled to the offseason.
With Jordany Valdespin being a solid producer since being called up on July 19, Hill said the Marlins are content with him splitting the job the rest of the way with Donovan Solano. So upgrading the pitching staff remains the top focus.
“The early bullpen questions have settled. Guys have gotten into more consistent roles and performed better,” Hill said. “It’s no secret that as we’ve played better, we’ve pitched better.”
Hill said owner Jeffrey Loria remains supportive and connected to every decision the front office makes. “He’s obviously part of the process,” Hill said. “We update him on where things are. But he wants to win as badly as anybody. He knows where we’re at, and what we’re trying to do.”
Does Loria want to win badly enough to add payroll? “I would say we’re looking at everything,” Hill said. “Money deals. Prospects deals. We’re looking at everything.”
How important is it to make a move to show fans and the team the front office is really going for it?
“Whether we’re able to make a move or not I think they know we have their back and supportive of what they’re trying to do,” Hill said of the players. “We’re going to do our best to try to upgrade, but we’re not going to be foolish. We’re not going to be short sighted.”
This and that
• Utility man Ed Lucas, back with the team after being sent down to the minors on July 20 so the team could add an extra arm for a road trip to Houston, had a funny line Wednesday about how the Marlins went 9-1 without him.
“I’m happy. But at the same time I’m thinking, ‘Man I must be a pretty bad teammate…” Lucas said. “It kind of makes you question yourself a little bit.”
• Former Marlins catcher John Baker, 33, pulled off a rare feat for the Cubs in Tuesday night’s 16-inning win over the Rockies. He scored the winning run and picked up the victory as a relief pitcher. That’s the first time that’s happened for the Cubs, who have been around since 1876.
“That’s definitely cooler than picking up seven saves in 10 days,” said closer Steve Cishek, one of the few pitchers left on the Marlins staff who worked with Baker before he was traded to San Diego following the 2011 season. “If I could drive in a run and get the win that would be even cooler. I think [Burke] Badenhop did that a couple years ago. I’d take that.”
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (7-7, 3.91) vs. Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (11-6, 2.08), 7:10 p.m. Marlins Park.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (4-6, 5.69) vs. Reds RHP Mat Latos (2-3, 3.31), 7:10 p.m. Marlins Park.