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Thursday, November 18, 2010
Marlins looking to add starting pitcher

By Jayson Stark
ESPN.com

Even though they just traded away one of their biggest bats, the Florida Marlins intend to spend their Dan Uggla dollars on a starting pitcher, not another hitter.

According to multiple sources who have spoken with the Marlins brass, the team plans to take what's left of the $10 million to $11 million it had budgeted for Uggla's salary and use it to lure an established veteran starter.

The two pitchers who appear to have floated to the top of the Marlins' wish list are Javier Vazquez and former Marlin Carl Pavano. But with Pavano still looking for a contract similar to the three-year, $33 million deal that Ted Lilly just signed with the Dodgers, Vazquez now looms as the Marlins' main target.

The Marlins told people after the Uggla trade that they hoped to add a pitcher by the end of the week. However, they're one of six teams currently expressing interest in Vazquez, who is viewed by those clubs as a potential bargain after a messy season with the Yankees (10-10, 5.32 ERA). And Vazquez isn't close to a deal with any of those teams, sources told ESPN.com.

The Nationals, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs are among other teams that have expressed some level of interest this winter in the 34-year-old right-hander, whose big selling point is that he is one of only three active starting pitchers who have spent at least 13 seasons in the big leagues and never gone on the disabled list. (The others: Derek Lowe and Livan Hernandez.)

If Pavano is willing to accept a shorter-term deal, the Marlins remain interested in him, as well. They almost signed Pavano last winter and had even tentatively agreed on a dollar figure, until the Twins charged in at the last minute and outbid them.

Jayson Stark is a senior MLB writer for ESPN.com.