Aaron Crow

Henderson Alvarez
AP Photo

Marlins likely to tender a contract to Henderson Alvarez

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The Marlins are likely to tender a contract to starter Henderson Alvarez by the early December deadline, but are unlikely to do so with reliever Aaron Crow, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Both pitchers are currently on their way back from surgical procedures. The Marlins will wait for medicals to come back before making a decision on Alvarez.

Alvarez, 25, underwent surgery on his right shoulder in late July. He made two starts in April before landing on the disabled list for over a month, then made two more starts in May before going back on the shelf. He allowed 18 runs (16 earned) on 28 hits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.

Crow, 28, suffered a UCL tear in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in early April. The Marlins acquired him from the Royals in November for Brian Flynn and minor leaguer Reid Redman.

Alvarez will be eligible for his second year of arbitration after earning $4 million in 2015. Crow will be eligible in his third and final year after earning $1.975 million.

Marlins reliever Aaron Crow needs Tommy John surgery

Aaron Crow

Aaron Crow, whom the Marlins acquired from the Royals in November, has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and is expected to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Miami gave up left-hander Brian Flynn and minor leaguer Reid Redman to get Crow, penciling him into a setup role after he logged 234 innings with a 3.43 ERA for Kansas City from 2011-2014.

However, he showed major signs of decline last season as his strikeout rate fell from 9.0 per nine innings from 2011-2013 to 5.2 per nine innings and his ERA rose to a career-worst 4.12. Crow will earn $2 million this season remains arbitration eligible and under the Marlins’ control for 2016.

Marlins willing to trade pitching to address other needs

Nathan Eovaldi

MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are willing to trade some of their young, controllable pitchers to fill other areas of need. Thus far, though, nothing has felt like the “right deal” to Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.

Of their six arbitration-eligible players, five are pitchers: Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek, Aaron Crow, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez. Scores more have yet to accrue enough service time to become arbitration-eligible, such as Tom Koehler. For mid-market teams who won’t even bother to deign interest in top free agent arms like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester, the Marlins certainly look like an attractive trading partner with which to find a pitching upgrade.

Frisaro adds that, following the history-making contract extension with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have also broached extending Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Adeiny Hechavarria. Each in the quartet has yet to become eligible for arbitration, meaning they will not hit free agency until 2019 at the earliest.

Aaron Crow could get a chance to start for the Marlins

Aaron Crow
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On Friday afternoon, the Marlins acquired pitcher Aaron Crow in a trade with the Royals. Though Crow has been used in the bullpen in each of his 254 appearances, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill suggested that the right-hander could get a shot in the starting rotation, per Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel.

“We know he has started,” said President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill, adding that manager Mike Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez would visit with Crow before the Marlins determine his role. “It’s still early in the offseason and we’re not sure how the rest of the offseason will unfold in terms of what else we add to our pitching staff, but we love the flexibility. We love the thought he could possibly be a starting option for us, but at a minimum we know he’ll be a valuable bullpen piece and just add to the overall depth of our staff.”

Crow, 28, added that starting is something that he has always wanted to do. He last started in 2010, when he split time between Single-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

This past season with the Royals, Crow finished with a 4.12 ERA and a 34/24 K/BB ratio in 59 innings.

Marlins acquire Aaron Crow from Royals

Aaron Crow

Aaron Crow became a forgotten man in the Royals’ deep bullpen and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that they’ve traded the 27-year-old right-hander to the Marlins for left-hander Brian Flynn.

Earlier today the Royals re-signed veteran right-hander Jason Frasor to a one-year, $1.8 million deal, which no doubt made them more comfortable parting with Crow.

Crow made the All-Star team as a rookie in 2011, but his yearly strikeout rate has dipped from 9.4 to 9.0 to 8.3 to 5.2 and this year he posted a 4.12 ERA with a 34/24 K/BB ratio while serving up 10 homers in 59 innings. His velocity was also down to 91-92 miles per hour after being 94-95 mph previously.

Flynn is a 6-foot-7 lefty acquired by the Marlins from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez trade and has given up 24 runs in 25 innings as a big leaguer so far, but the 24-year-old has decent minor-league numbers as a starter and could be a back-of-the-rotation option.