As you may have heard by now, a couple of down-and-out pitchers were swapped today as the Marlins sent Jorge Julio to the Rockies for Byung-Hyun Kim.
The hurlers have a lot in common – both are free agents after the season, and the Marlins and Rockies were each on the hook for $2.5MM in salary. Plus, both had fallen out of favor with their respective teams.
The Rockies already have a strong duo for the eighth and ninth innings – Manny Corpas and Brian Fuentes. Dan O’Dowd decided to buy low on Julio, a fairly young reliever whose results never seem to match his stuff. From the gist of the MLB.com article, it sounds like O’Dowd worked the phones for months trying to get something interesting for Kim and Julio was the best he could do.
This could be one of those deals that works for both sides, as I’ve considered Kim a bit of a sleeper in recent years. The sidearmer had a decent 7.5 K/9 last year, but still posted a 5.57 ERA in 27 starts. If the Marlins can help him regain the control he had in ’02-03, he could be a pleasant surprise. And what pitcher wouldn’t want to switch from Coors Field to Dolphins Stadium? Coors inflates homers by 12%, while Dolphins Stadium deflates them by 9% (according to the Bill James Handbook). While there are no public plans for it right now, Kim could end up closing for the Fish if current options don’t pan out.