The Marlins sit at .500, five games back in the NL East and four back of a wild card spot. Their chances to make it to the postseason aren't great, but they do exist, and would be that much stronger if only they received a little help. That could come in the form of John Lackey, who FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports the Marlins are discussing with the Red Sox.
The Marlins should take a chance on 2014, but maybe not only 2014 given their young roster and the fact a few teams are in front of them for playoff spots at the moment. Acquiring Lackey, who is also under contract in 2015, would make far more sense for the Marlins than going after any of the rental options, especially since their ace, Jose Fernandez, will return from Tommy John surgery during the first half of 2015 barring any setbacks. Lackey isn't Fernandez, but he's a stabilizing veteran presence that they lack in a very young rotation, one who has managed a 113 ERA+ in 50 starts since 2013 and has been to two World Series.
A rotation with Lackey to lead the way until Fernandez returns, with a combination of Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, as well as Tom Koehler, prospect Andrew Heaney, and more could certainly compete in the National League. At $500,000 -- a price tag triggered by Lackey's 2011 Tommy John surgery -- he's also well within the Marlins' budget. He'd be reunited with former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whom he publicly stated he worked well with in 2013, and it might even help convince the Marlins' star slugger, Giancarlo Stanton, that Miami is serious about winning. That's a necessary component of signing him to an extension.
Just what the pieces in a potential Lackey to Miami deal would be are unknown, but they do have young outfielders who the Red Sox could use. With the deadline a little more than 24 hours away, we'll likely find out soon enough.
Don't you dare think Stanton is part of any negotiated return, either.