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Rangers in talks with Marlins for Brad Hand; Rule 5 pick Andrew McKirahan could be dealt

JUPITER -- The Marlins are in trade with discussions with the Texas Rangers for Brad Hand. And he might not be the only left-hander the Marlins end up trading before the end of spring training.

According to sources, a host of teams are interested in Andrew McKirahan, the southpaw reliever the Marlins selected in the Rule 5 draft. McKirahan, who belonged formerly to the Cubs organization, is in high demand.

And since it appears he won't win a spot in their bullpen, the Marlins would prefer to deal the pitcher rather than give him back to the Cubs, which would require them to first place him on waivers. Interest is such in McKirahan that the Marlins would rather get something for the pitcher rather than lose him on waivers.

As for Hand, the left-hander is out of options and can't be sent to the minors without clearing waivers. Knowing that he would be claimed, the Marlins might try to squeeze a middle- to high-level prospect from the Rangers -- or anyone else -- for the lefty.

As a result of their many offseason trades, the Marlins now feel a need to strengthen their minor-league system, which was weakened over the winter.