HOUSTON -- Giancarlo Stanton hasn't played in many meaningful games with the Marlins, who have finished last in every one of his four seasons except for his first.
That's why he's looking forward to this week's three-game home showdown against the first-place Nationals.
The Marlins could not only make up ground on the division leaders with a successful series, but also would likely put Marlins management into buy mode as they near Thursday's non-waiver trading deadline.
"I know how important it's going to be," Stanton said. "We know where we're at. They're 1/8the Nationals3/8 in the driver's seat, so we've got to kick them out."
The Marlins have stated that they would like to add a starting pitcher, especially one they can control beyond this season.
Among the pitchers that fit the profile and the Marlins are thought to be considering:
--Oakland left-hander Tommy Milone, who reportedly asked the A's to trade him after being demoted to the minors. Milone is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA this season; 32-22 with a 3.84 ERA in 78 career starts.
Milone was bounced to the minors after the A's traded for starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Milone is appealing to the Marlins in that he is not eligible for free agency until 2018.
--Arizona lefty Wade Miley, who is also three seasons away from free agency. Miley, a fly-ball pitcher who would fit well at Marlins Park, has gone 36-30 with a 3.73 ERA in 91 career starts with the Diamondbacks.
--San Diego right-hander Ian Kennedy, who is 8-9 with a 3.66 in 22 starts for the Padres. Kennedy brings more experience (61-49 with a 3.96 ERA in 163 career starts) but is closer to free agency and, with only one arbitration year left, would be a costlier option for the Marlins.
But if the series with the Nationals doesn't go well for the Marlins, they might also decide to sell, with relievers Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn being the two most logical candidates.
(c)2014 The Miami Herald
Visit The Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services