Quick Thursday evening update:
The Marlins are determined to add at least one starting pitcher, and two ideally, before Monday’s trade deadline, and we're told these are three new names in whom they’ve expressed interest: Kansas City’s Edinson Volquez (8-8, 4.56 ERA, has a $10 million mutual option next season), the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker (5-11, 4.17, under team control through 2020), and Atlanta’s Julio Teheran (3-8, 2.71, due $6.3, $8 million, $11 million through 2019).
Shoemaker hasn't quite been the same since going 16-4 and finishing second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2014. But he still has upside and the Angels are said to be listening to offers. He generally has pitched well since May, though he allowed five runs in his last start.
MLB.com reported that it's unlikely the Braves will trade Teheran because he's signed to a longterm affordable contract.
The Marlins also remain in the mix for several names that have been mentioned previously: the Phillies’ Jeremy Hellickson (7-7, 3.65), San Diego’s Andrew Cashner (4-7, 4.76), the Angels’ Hector Santiago (9-4, 4.28) and the Yankees’ Ivan Nova (7-5, 4.65) and Michael Pineda (5-9, 5.00), among others.
Hellickson, Cashner and Nova are impending free agents.
The Marlins are open to adding short-term rentals such as Hellickson or pitchers who will be under team control for several years (such as Shoemaker).
Jeffrey Loria views this as a real chance to end baseball's second-longest postseason drought and is committed to improving the rotation.
• Teams keep asking the Marlins about Class A Greensboro first baseman Josh Naylor (.265, 9 home runs, 53 RBI) and Class A Jupiter right-hander Luis Castillo (7-3, 2.75).
The Marlins would consider trading any prospect, depending on the quality of the pitcher they're getting in return.
• Don Mattingly said the Marlins have discussed the possibility of making David Phelps a starter again and said it's certainly not out of the question, with a decision to be made after the trade deadline.
Phelps said he would talk to the Marlins about it "if it came to that." Such a move, seen as a last resort, would require stretching him out back to starter's innings.
Phelps is 16-19 with a 4.36 ERA as a starter (mostly with the Yankees) and 7-8 with a 3.56 ERA as a reliever.
• Reliever Bryan Morris, off back surgery, said today he should be ready to return to the majors by early-to-mid September. Morris began throwing this week - a few days sooner than projected - and said this is the first time in a year-and-a-half that he hasn't felt back pain while throwing.
For an update tonight on Don Shula's health, plus news that could change your holiday season plans and Dolphins chatter, please click here. And check back in a little while for lots of UM football.