The Marlins are moving so quickly on the free agent front that it almost makes you wonder if they'll have one ready to unveil at Friday's big uniform and logo shindig at the new ballpark. The newest name to surface: free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle.
According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, the Marlins are planning to meet with the veteran left-hander sometime today, followed by a meeting with shortstop Jose Reyes on Wednesday and another with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on Thursday.
The Marlins traveled to New York last week to make a pitch to Reyes' agent the moment the free agent signing period began, an indication he is high on their priority list. But pitching is a priority, as well, and the organization has targeted the 32-year-old Buehrle as the arm to get in that arena.
The durable southpaw has logged at least 30 starts and double-digit wins over each of the past 11 seasons, all with the Chicago White Sox, where he pitched for manager Ozzie Guillen. He would provide the Marlins with a reliable lefty in the rotation and a veteran presence in the clubhouse, a No. 2 starter to follow Josh Johnson in the grand order of things.
Buehrle said in September that he is intrigued by the idea of changing leagues and moving to the NL. "It's one of those things where it would be kind of an interesting challenge to switch leagues and see how the National League is," he said.
Among available free agent pitchers, the Marlins are much higher on Buehrle than they are on C.J. Wilson.
It's important to keep in mind that the Marlins face keen competition for all of these players, but the fact they're making such a strong push so early in the process is an indication they're in it to win it.