The Miami Marlins are looking to make a big splash and improve their bullpen, according to a report by the Miami Herald.
Miami is linked to all three of the top closers available in the free agent market. Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon all have the ability to change a bullpen immediately and the Marlins have reported interest in the trio. It is unknown if the Marlins would try to sign more than one of the players.
Signing Chapman or Jansen would likely require a commitment of more than $100 million. Melancon can be had for less, but would still be in line for a healthy paycheck. The Marlins have obvious needs in their starting rotation and in the bullpen as well. Forming a strong back of the pen could make up for some deficiencies in the rotation.
Chapman pitched for the Chicago Cubs during their recent World Series run after coming over in a trade. The fireballer is arguably the top arm available this off-season and has interest from multiple big market teams. There could be a bidding war for Chapman's services, but his links to the South Florida area could play a role. After defecting from Cuba, Chapman purchased a home in Davie and still resides in the area during the off-season.
Jansen played under Don Mattingly in Los Angeles and it is possible that the connection could help in contract talks. Like Chapman, Jansen is being linked to multiple teams with higher payrolls. If Miami ends up with the closer, it could be due to a team-friendly deal. It was Mattingly who gave Jansen his first chance to close at the big-league level. Prior to pitching, Jansen was a catcher.
Melancon is an All-Star and has been somewhat overshadowed by Chapman and Jansen this off-season. The right-hander is a difference maker himself and could even end up being the best value of the three. While his salary will surely be lower than Chapman and Jansen, Melancon may put up numbers that are equally as impressive. The 31-year old had 47 saves last year in his stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals.
The Major League Baseball Winter Meetings have begun and it appears that Miami could have a busy week.