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Marlins considering low-cost options for the starting rotation

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Doug Fister #33 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Nationals Park on August 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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With a starting rotation that’s been unchanged thus far in the offseason, the Marlins are now considering budget options, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details. Doug Fister, Edwin Jackson, and Cliff Lee have been among those considered.

Lee, 37, has been out since the end of July 2014 due to a torn flexor tendon in his left arm. The Phillies bought him out of the final year of his contract, paying him $12.5 million rather than $27.5 million. Given his age, the seriousness of the injury, and the length of time for his layoff, Lee will almost certainly have to settle for an incentive-laden one-year deal.

Fister, 31, had the toughest year of his major league career in 2015, finishing with a 4.19 ERA and a 63/24 K/BB ratio in 103 innings. The right-hander made only 15 starts and 10 relief appearances due to a flexor tendon strain which caused a significant decline in velocity. Like Lee, Fister is likely looking at a one-year deal, but he may be able to command more guaranteed money.

Jackson, 32, was used exclusively as a reliever for the first time in his career. The right-hander made 47 appearances, posting a 3.07 ERA with a 40/21 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Jackson is ostensibly hoping to prove himself once again as a starter, but he posted a 4.98 ERA in 2013 and 6.33 in ’14 out of the rotation, so he doesn’t have much bargaining power.

Jackson (of the Herald) also notes that the Marlins, had they succeeded in prying closer Aroldis Chapman from the Reds, would have moved the hard-throwing lefty into the #2 spot in the rotation.

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