On a team with plenty of holes to fill, the Marlins’ strength right now is their rotation. Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco are veterans with track records. On the back end, Jacob Turner and Nathan Eovaldi each showed promise during the second half.
“Pitching is the fastest way, the most sustainable way and proven way to win,” Beinfest said. “I think we have some guys who can do better than they have. I think that’s fair to say. We were very pleased with Eovaldi and Turner in September. We can start to see them getting more comfortable in the Major Leagues. We love both of their arms. We think they’re going to be real good Major League pitchers for a long time.”
The question the Marlins also will be asking themselves is, do they need to trade a front-line starter to address third base, or another area of need? If so, Johnson ($13.75 million) and Nolasco ($11.5 million) are free agents after 2013. One or both could be dangled in trade talks. The same holds true with Buehrle, who is under contract for three more years.