MIAMI -- With their major moves behind them, the Marlins are focused on adding a few more starting pitchers with at least some big-league experience to provide depth. They've found one who is no stranger to the organization.Miami has reached agreement with right-hander Jacob Turner on a Minor League contract
MIAMI -- With their major moves behind them, the Marlins are focused on adding a few more starting pitchers with at least some big-league experience to provide depth. They've found one who is no stranger to the organization.
Miami has reached agreement with right-hander Jacob Turner on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The 26-year-old previously was with Miami, from 2012-14.
Turner pitched for the Nationals last year, going 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA in 18 games, including two starts.
In the bigger picture, the Marlins want to add as much pitching as possible to avoid rushing their pitching prospects.
Sandy Alcantara, Miami's top prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, is one of those candidates. If the hard-throwing right-hander shows he is ready, he can be in the Opening Day rotation. But if the feeling is he needs more Minor League innings, Turner could be a candidate to fill that role.
A centerpiece in the trade with the Cardinals for Marcell Ozuna, Alcantara threw 125 1/3 innings at Double-A last year, and he has 369 innings total in the Minor Leagues. He made eight relief appearances with the Cardinals, and showcased a four-seam fastball that averaged 98.51 mph, according to Statcast™.
After the trade with the Cardinals, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said: "Alcantara is pitching better. His delivery is a lot more connected. He's shown the ability to compete, and he gets better every time. We're looking forward to getting him into Spring Training."
The Marlins rotation is almost wide open. Dan Straily and Jose Urena are the two mainstays, and Wei-Yin Chen is a possibility, if he is healthy. Then there are candidates like Dillon Peters, who pitched in September. But Peters, like Turner, will have to earn a rotation spot.
A former first-round pick, Turner was fast-tracked to the big leagues at age 20 by the Tigers in 2011. Midway through the '12 season, he was dealt to the Marlins, along with catcher Rob Brantly, for right-hander Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante.
A sinker-ball pitcher, Turner was part of the Marlins' rotation in 2013, going 3-8 with a 3.74 ERA in 20 starts and 118 innings. In '14, the right-hander was 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 20 appearances and 12 starts before being sent to the Cubs.
Turner, who didn't pitch in the big leagues in 2015, has pitched for five different big league clubs, including the White Sox and Nationals.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.