Barry Jackson

Marlins reach out to free-agent pitchers

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs, in Chicago. The Dodgers have extended $17.2 million qualifying offers to free agents Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. The team's other free agents” Brett Anderson, Joe Blanton, Jesse Chavez, J.P. Howell and Chase Utley” were not given qualifying offers on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Jansen and Turner have until next Monday to accept their one-year offers.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen (74) throws during the sixth inning of Game 6 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs, in Chicago. The Dodgers have extended $17.2 million qualifying offers to free agents Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. The team's other free agents” Brett Anderson, Joe Blanton, Jesse Chavez, J.P. Howell and Chase Utley” were not given qualifying offers on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Jansen and Turner have until next Monday to accept their one-year offers. AP

A few Thursday Marlins notes as the team plots its offseason strategy:

• Per sources, the Marlins have begun reaching out to a few free agent pitchers and they’ve shown interest in Cubs left-hander Travis Wood, who was 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA last season while being used exclusively as a reliever.

The Marlins view Wood, 29, as a starting option, too; he’s 35-50 with a 4.19 ERA as a starter, compared with 8-2, 2.83 as a reliever.

During the Cubs’ postseason march to the World Series last month, Wood was 1-0 with two holds and a 3.12 ERA in 17 1/3 innings. He also became the first reliever to homer in a postseason game since 1924.

The Marlins had called free agent right hander Charlie Morton to express interest before he agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Astros this week.

This isn’t a surprise, but Miami hasn’t aggressively pursued free agent right-hander Andrew Cashner, who struggled here after being acquired in July from the Padres. Cashner has said he wants to play with a team that allows him to have facial hair.

The free agent pitching class was weak to begin with, and RA Dickey and Bartolo Colon are among those already off the market.

• The Marlins have left people with the impression that they’re looking for back-end bullpen help, according to a source in contact with them.

And FanRag’s Jon Heyman reports Miami’s No. 1 target is Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen, who had 36 and 47 saves the past two seasons but would be very expensive and cost a first-round pick.

An associate of star free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman said it’s highly unlikely Chapman will end up with Miami.

• The Marlins have expressed interest in re-signing left hander reliever Mike Dunn (discussions are ongoing) but haven’t pursued right-handed reliever Bryan Morris.

• Several teams have called about free agent backup catcher Jeff Mathis. The Marlins hadn’t pursued him as of early this week, but I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that because they were late in re-signing him last offseason. Tomas Telis is another backup catching option in the system.

• With Chris Johnson a free agent, the Marlins are mulling what to do regarding a right-handed hitting first baseman.

• Former Marlins manager Mike Redmond took a job on new manager Bud Black’s staff in Colorado. Redmond will be bench coach.

For my Thursday Heat post exploring the Heat’s predicament, this season and beyond, at shooting guard and small forward, please click here.

For my Thursday UM post with football and hoops nuggets, including some candor from Mark Richt, please click here.

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