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- Orioles Agree To Deal With Ariel Miranda
- Right-Hander Norge Ruiz Leaves Cuba, Will Seek Deal With MLB Club
- Smyly Will Not Have Surgery, Is Confident He Can Pitch In 2015
- Hyun-jin Ryu Undergoes Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery
- 2016 MLB Free Agent Power Rankings
- Hyun-jin Ryu To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
- Mariners Acquire Welington Castillo From Cubs For Yoervis Medina
- Bruce Chen Announces Retirement
- Red Sox Outright Allen Craig
- Marlins Name GM Dan Jennings Manager
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- Week In Review: 5/16/15 – 5/22/15
- Orioles Agree To Deal With Ariel Miranda
- East Notes: Syndergaard, Duda, Castillo, Red Sox
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- Dodgers Acquire Eric Surkamp From White Sox
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Miami Marlins Rumors
12:13am: Rodriguez does not seem to be a candidate, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets.
12:11am: There are industry whispers about former star catcher Ivan Rodriguez as a potential candidate for the Marlins managerial job, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. The Marlins, of course, fired another former catcher, Mike Redmond, from the job on Sunday and will announce a replacement Monday morning.
The idea of Rodriguez as a candidate is consistent with Jon Heyman of CBS Sports’ recent tweet that the job will go to an “outside the box” candidate. Rodriguez retired in 2012 and is now a special assistant to Rangers GM Jon Daniels. He has no managerial experience, although former catchers like Mike Matheny and Brad Ausmus have won managerial jobs in recent seasons despite similarly thin resumés as coaches.
Rodriguez was widely credited for his veteran leadership for the Marlins in 2003, when they won their second World Series, although that was his only season with the team. He spent the rest of his 21-year big-league career with the Rangers, Tigers, Yankees, Astros and Nationals, generally putting up strong offensive numbers while winning ample praise for his work behind the plate (and particularly his arm). He holds the MLB record for games caught, with 2,427.
Thanks in part to revenue sharing, the Marlins remain profitable, and Jeffrey Loria’s fellow owners might take issue with his indecisive and costly approach to building a team, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The Marlins are now paying two former managers who are still under contract (Mike Redmond and Ozzie Guillen), plus former executives Larry Beinfest and Jim Fleming. They’re also paying former catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia through next season. Meanwhile, their attendance remains poor despite the recent opening of Marlins Park. Here’s more from throughout the game.
- Redmond’s firing demonstrates the Marlins’ inability to follow a steady course, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports writes. The manager the Marlins hire tomorrow will be their eighth in the last decade, the others being Jack McKeon, Joe Girardi, Fredi Gonzalez, Edwin Rodriguez, McKeon again, Guillen and Redmond.
- Montreal mayor Denis Coderre will meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on May 28, and he plans to convey to Manfred the city’s love for baseball, the Associated Press reports. Montreal, of course, hasn’t had a team since the Expos were moved to Washington following the 2004 season. Coderre would like for big-league baseball to return, but it sounds like he expects it will be awhile before that can happen. “I don’t want to negotiate openly, but we’ll clearly talk about Montreal,” he says. “We need a step-by-step approach. You don’t pull the flower to make it grow faster.”
- The Greenville Drive, the Red Sox‘ Class A affiliate, have announced that Yoan Moncada will make his professional debut Monday night, playing second base. The 19-year-old Cuban phenom had been in extended spring training. Red Sox fans will surely be paying close attention to tomorrow’s box score, hoping for hints as to what to expect from Moncada, who officially signed for a $31.5MM bonus in mid-March.
- Josh Hamilton hasn’t yet joined the Rangers, but he’s happy to be back in the Dallas area on a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco, Ryan Gerbosi of the Dallas Morning News writes. “It’s been a good reception,” says Hamilton. “It’s been good to hear a little twang in people’s voices and just go out there and it’s just a good feeling.” Hamilton, who has also played a handful of games for Triple-A Round Rock, doubled today in his second game with the RoughRiders and appears close to a return from his shoulder injury.
- 19-year-old lefty Cionel Perez has left Cuba in search of a deal with a big-league team, but MLB’s registration rules will be an obstacle, Ben Badler of Baseball America writes. (Perez’s departure from Cuba was originally reported by MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez.) Badler notes that Perez isn’t a top-tier prospect, but he has improved his standing lately and had become one of the better pitchers in Cuba before his departure. (Badler notes in a subscriber-only scouting report that Perez is small, at 5-foot-10, but has added velocity lately and is now throwing in the low 90s.) Because Perez was born after September 1, 1995, though, and has not yet registered with the commissioner’s office, he will not be eligible to sign until the international signing period that begins next July. Once he’s eligible, he will be subject to rules regarding international bonus pools.
10:49pm: Frisaro tweets that there are rumors within the industry that the Marlins could hire former star catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a hero for the Marlins’ 2003 World Series team, retired as a player in 2012.
10:10pm: The Marlins’ next manager will be someone currently in the organization, Frisaro tweets. It doesn’t appear it will be Butler or Conine, and a source tells Frisaro he’ll be “shocked” when he hears who it is. Frisaro speculates that it could be Andre Dawson or Tony Perez, both of whom are special assistants to president David Samson. Heyman adds (via Twitter) that the new hire will be someone “outside the box” who hasn’t been widely discussed tonight.
6:24pm: Butler will not be the Marlins’ next manager, sources tell Frisaro (via Twitter).
6:20pm: The Marlins have not been in touch with former Giants and Reds skipper Dusty Baker, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets.
5:05pm: Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reports the Marlins are eyeing candidates with previous MLB managerial experience and names former Astros manager and current Braves third base coach Bo Porter and Ron Roenicke, who was dismissed by the Brewers two weeks ago, as possibilities who fit the bill.
2:44pm: The Marlins have announced on Twitter they have fired manager Mike Redmond. Bench coach Rob Leary was also relieved of his duties. Redmond was in his third season and had a record of 155-207. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets a new manager will be named tomorow at a 10am CT news conference and third base coach Brett Butler is the leading internal candidate to replace Redmond, at least on an interim basis. The new manager will be the seventh for the franchise since 2009.
“Hopefully a new voice will spark and motivate our guys to play as capable as we know they are of playing,” said Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill (per the team’s official Twitter account).
The Marlins invested heavily this offseason by extending the face of the franchise Giancarlo Stanton and fellow outfielder Christian Yelich. Miami also acquired Dee Gordon (the MLB leader in batting average), Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Mike Morse, Martin Prado, and Ichiro Suzuki giving rise to playoff aspirations.
The firings came literally minutes after the Marlins were swept by the Braves at home and were nearly no-hit in doing so (Justin Bour ended Shelby Miller‘s bid with two outs in the bottom of the ninth). Nearly one month ago, rumors began circulating Redmond was on the hot seat after the team struggled to a 3-11 start.
In those reports, Mets’ Triple-A manager Wally Backman was named as one of the possible replacements. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets the Marlins have not requested permission from the Mets to speak with Backman. The New York Post’s Mike Puma tweets the Marlins had informal talks with Backman last month through a third party.
The Marlins also have not contacted former Twins manager Ron Gardenshire, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In separate tweets, Berardino floats the name of ex-Rangers skipper Ron Washington, who interviewed for the Marlins job a decade ago and lives in New Orleans which is ironically also home to the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes on Twitter owner Jeffrey Loria is now paying two managers not to manage: Redmond (who signed an extension through 2017 last September) and Ozzie Guillen (in the final year of a four-year, $10MM deal).
The Marlins, losers of ten of their last 14, are in fourth place in the NL East, six games behind the Mets. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets Loria may be hoping history repeats itself. The last time the Marlins fired a manager when the club’s record stood at 16-22 was 2003 when Jack McKeon (now 84 and serving as a special assistant to Loria) replaced Jeff Torborg and guided the team to a World Series title. The Marlins haven’t returned to the playoffs since.
7:59pm: Conine will not, in fact, be the Marlins’ next manager, a front office source now tells Nightengale (via Twitter).
7:19pm: Jeff Conine “appears to be” the Marlins’ choice to replace Mike Redmond as manager, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. In a later tweet, Nightengale cautions that Conine’s choice is not official and that the “mystery continues” until the Marlins confirm his hiring. Conine currently works as a special assistant to Marlins president David Samson.
The Marlins are expected to formally announce their new manager tomorrow at 10am Central. Brett Butler, Bo Porter, Wally Backman and others had been connected to the job.
Conine played parts of 17 seasons with the Royals, Marlins, Orioles, Phillies, Reds and Mets and spent a big chunk of his career in Baltimore, but he’s best known for his play during the early years of the Florida franchise, which earned him the nickname “Mr. Marlin.” The Marlins picked him in the 1992 expansion draft, and he was among the better players on the Marlins’ inaugural 1993 team, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He made the All-Star team in his next two seasons in Florida and played on the Marlins’ World Series team in 1997, and, after being traded, rejoined the team months before they won the World Series again in 2003.
Since the end of his playing career in 2007, Conine has worked in broadcasting in addition to his duties with the Marlins front office. He has no managerial experience.
Redmond was fired earlier today after the Marlins made big commitments to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich this offseason and acquired players like Mat Latos, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Dan Haren, Mike Morse and Ichiro Suzuki, only to start the year 16-22. Conine will inherit Stanton, Yelich, Gordon and a talented, though injury-wracked, young rotation.
Here are a few highlights from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe’s latest rumors roundup:
- The Phillies have scouted the Red Sox‘ Double-A Portland team the past six days, Cafardo writes. The Red Sox have, of course, repeatedly been connected to Cole Hamels, although the Phillies have several other veterans who could also be trade candidates. Portland isn’t a particularly prospect-rich team right now, with many of the Red Sox’ best minor-leaguers at Triple-A Pawtucket or Class A Greenville. So it’s hard to say who the Phillies might be scouting, and it’s likely they aren’t scouting a potential centerpiece for a Hamels deal.
- The Brewers are already prepared to trade starters Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse. At least one scout tells Cafardo that Lohse (who has allowed ten homers in his first 47 2/3 innings this season, although his strikeout and walk numbers have been fine) is in need of a “change of scenery.”
- The Royals‘ bullpen this year has been terrific, but their rotation hasn’t. The Royals are looking for cheap starting pitching to help ease the burden on their bullpen caused by short outings from their starters (although any acquisition they might make right now would likely be minor, since they aren’t yet willing to trade for a starter).
- Teams could see Reds starter Mike Leake as a very viable trade candidate. Leake is having a strong season so far, and it would likely be easier to sign him long-term than to sign his rotation-mate Johnny Cueto, so Leake could attract plenty of interest. Like Cueto, he’s eligible for free agency after the season.
- If the Marlins‘ season doesn’t improve, they could easily trade Dan Haren to a team on his preferred coast, Cafardo writes. Haren’s desire to play in California is well known. He’s in the midst of a good season (3.70 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9), and any number of teams out west could have interest.
Masset pitched 8.2 innings for Miami with a 2.08 ERA, 5.19 K/9, and 1.04 BB/9. The right-hander’s best seasons were with the Reds from 2009 through 2011. At his best, he featured a 95 mph fastball. These days, the 33-year-old works around 91 mph. He spent 2014 with the Rockies where he posted a 5.80 ERA in 45 innings.
MLB’s players have become less and less durable over time, MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince writes. Castrovince notes that last year, only 56 players appeared in at least 150 games, and only 37 got 650 or more plate appearances, the lowest numbers in each category since MLB expanded from 26 teams to 28 in the early 1990s. The reason seems to be that teams (including minor-league teams) are reluctant to have players play through injury. “If you have a superstar player and you’re a young coach or manager in the minor leagues and you ask him to push through and he gets hurt, guess what? That’s not going to be very good for you,” says Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. Castrovince points out that the number of days players spend on the disabled list has increased over the past five years (although players stayed somewhat healthier in 2014 than they did in 2013). More aggressive policing of steroids and amphetamine use is likely a significant factor in increased DL time throughout the big leagues. Here are more quick notes on injuries.
- The Marlins have announced that Henderson Alvarez will start tomorrow against the Braves. It will be Alvarez’s first start since April 12, having since missed a month with shoulder trouble. Alvarez’s return will be a big boost to the 16-20 Marlins, who will get a pitcher who finished 12th in Cy Young balloting last year after posting a 2.65 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 over 187 innings.
- Orioles prospect Bobby Bundy (not to be confused with former top draft pick and fellow Orioles minor-leaguer Dylan Bundy) will have surgery for a knee injury Monday, Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com tweets. It’s a tough break for Bundy, who emerged as a good starting pitching prospect in 2010 and 2011 but missed the entire 2013 season and chunks of 2012 and 2014 as well with a series of injuries. Bundy had pitched 15 innings of relief for Double-A Bowie this season.
None of the top candidates for the first overall pick in the upcoming amateur draft seem likely to command the $8.6MM+ bonus slotted for the #1 pick, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes as part of a draft mailbag. Callis notes that the Diamondbacks would likely save a couple of million on whomever they pick first overall, making the team’s explorations of taking a lesser-ranked prospect first to save even more bonus pool money seem rather needless. “There’s no need to do a discount of $4 million or more, and it’s unlikely there will be enough quality players to spend that much extra money on in later rounds,” Callis writes.
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Marlins‘ decision not to pursue Rafael Soriano does not indicate that the team is not going to look to spur change in its pen, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Nevertheless, the focus is now internal. A.J. Ramos is just beginning his audition in the closer’s role, and should get a fairly long look. Otherwise, righties David Phelps and Tom Koehler could be shifted to full-time bullpen roles. It makes sense for Miami to see how things look with in-house changes now, of course, to gather information before the summer trade market heats up.
- Mets second baseman Dilson Herrera is headed to the DL with a broken middle finger on this throwing hand, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports (Twitter links). Third baseman and utilityman Eric Campbell will slide into the mix for the time being. It remains to be seen how long Herrera will be out, but his absence could impact the club in a multitude of ways. For one thing, it reduces (or even eliminates) the possibility that Herrera will seize the everyday job and render Daniel Murphy a trade piece — an admittedly somewhat unlikely scenario to begin with, especially given David Wright‘s prolonged absence. Also of note: the decision to tab Campbell means that the team is not yet ready to bump Wilmer Flores off of shortstop, which was at least a theoretical alternative if Matt Reynolds had received the call. Unless and until Flores can curb his difficulties in the field, the position will remain an area of focus. As Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes, the overall disposition in New York (particularly given the context of a five-game losing streak) is not terribly sunny at present.
- The Rockies‘ shortstop situation is also going to continue to get press, albeit for somewhat different reasons. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs takes a shot at valuing Troy Tulowitzki, opining that the excellent but oft-injured star would probably command something north of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract. That implies something like $50MM to $60MM in excess value in his contract, says Cameron, indicating that Tulo might bring back a package of very good prospects rather than one headlined by a super-premium young player. (Though, as Cameron notes, we should expect some mark-up for an in-season deal. Last year’s Jeff Samardzija–Addison Russell trade certainly illustrates that point.) The article suggests some possible groups of players that could theoretically be offered to Colorado.
Over at Fangraphs, Jeff Sullivan takes a look at the cause of Stephen Strasburg‘s uncharacteristically slow start for the Nationals. As he explains, batters have teed off on Strasburg when he is working out of the stretch. It is impossible to pin down the exact issues, of course, but Sullivan explains that — as pitching coach Steve McCatty believes — lingering side-effects of an offseason ankle injury may still be impacting Strasburg’s mechanics. Obviously, Strasburg is in no danger or need of being replaced in D.C., and he remains an over-scrutinized pitcher. But both player and club obviously have some work to do to get him back on track.
Here’s more from the NL East:
- The Marlins pulled out of their pursuit of free agent reliever Rafael Soriano because of their assessment of his likely impact more than the money involved, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports (Twitter link). Of course, it is nearly impossible to separate talent assessment and cost entirely. After all, Miami presumably wouldn’t hesitate to add Soriano on a league-minimum contract. But the Marlins could well have determined, whether based on scouting him last year or learning more about his current status, that Soriano did not warrant any kind of significant outlay.
- Phillies ace Cole Hamels has turned things around after a slow start, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki writes. The southpaw has allowed just 2.72 earned runs per nine over his last five starts, Zolecki notes, and turned in a nice, nine-strikeout outing last night. All said, Hamels’ trade value remains as robust as ever as the summer draws near.
- After failing to stick as a big league reliever, Phillies righty Phillippe Aumont is impressing as a starter at Triple-A, Zolecki reports. The only remaining piece of the Cliff Lee trade, the 26-year-old had seemed destined to be a disappointment but is showing some life in the upper minors with a 1.36 ERA over 33 innings (7.6 K/9 vs. 3.5 BB/9). “Phillippe told me he’s extremely happy to be back in the rotation,” Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan tells Zolecki. “He looks like it. There’s a tempo to what he’s doing. He used to take forever between pitches. He’s crisp. He has some big misses, but he gets right back in the zone. Seven strong innings today, really. He had an above-average, maybe well above-average fastball. Above-average breaking ball. Two Major League pitches.”
Steve Cishek‘s struggles this season have not only cost him the ninth inning, they’ve caused the Marlins to recently explore the idea of signing veteran stopper Rafael Soriano, who did not sign as a free agent this offseason. The Marlins’ interest in the Scott Boras client appears to have been fleeting, as no sooner than a day after they were rumored to be “very much engaged” in talks with Boras, the team is now said to be out of the Soriano market.
Their interest in Soriano, however, underscores the fact that the Marlins may not be content to utilize in-house options in the ninth-inning. A.J. Ramos figures to see the bulk of the closing opportunities for now, with Mike Dunn and perhaps Bryan Morris getting occasional looks as well. However, none of the three comes with significant closing experience in the Majors — Ramos does have 83 minor league saves — and the Marlins entered 2015 gunning for a postseason berth after spending big to extend Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich in addition to bringing in Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Michael Morse and Ichiro Suzuki this offseason.
With that in mind, it’s worth speculating on a few potential external options that could help Miami patch what could be a ninth-inning hole moving forward. Because speculating on available relievers/relief prospects could be an endless endeavor, I’ll limit the possibilities in this post to those with previous closing experience, though it certainly can’t be ruled out that the Marlins would use Ramos going forward and instead fortify the bridge to the ninth inning with a newly acquired power arm. All that said, a few speculative options…
Francisco Rodriguez/Jonathan Broxton, Brewers: Prior to K-Rod’s two-year deal with the Brewers, the Marlins were the last reported team in the mix for K-Rod, offering him as much as $10MM over a two-year term. Rodriguez landed $13MM to return to a familiar setting in Milwaukee, but things have soured at an unbelievably quick rate at Miller Park. The Brewers have baseball’s second-worst winning percentage, they’ve already dismissed manager Ron Roenicke, and the expectation seems to be that they’ll eventually sell off veteran pieces in an attempt to restock the team with young talent. K-Rod could certainly help them achieve that goal, and we know that the Marlins were interested in him on a two-year deal as recently as three months ago. As for Broxton, he’s earning $9MM and has struggled this season, but he’s notched an elite K/BB ratio and struggled primarily with homers. His 23.1 percent homer-to-flyball ratio figures to regress anyhow, but a move to Marlins Park could accelerate that process.
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies: Papelbon’s abrasive personality, diminished velocity and fairly significant contract are no secret. However, none of those three seemingly negative factors have stopped the right-hander from delivering some of the best results of any closer over the past two seasons. Papelbon is owed $13MM in 2015 (of which about $10.3MM remains), and he has a vesting option at the same rate for the 2016 season that would almost certainly kick in if the Marlins installed him in the ninth inning. As such, the Phillies would likely need to eat some of the money owed to Papelbon, but GM Ruben Amaro Jr. recently expressed a willingness to do so in order to move Cole Hamels, so one would think that the same holds true of Papelbon.
Aroldis Chapman, Reds: The Reds are hanging around in the NL Central for the time being, but they’re without Homer Bailey for the entire season and may soon lose Devin Mesoraco for the majority of 2015 as well. That will make it tough for Cincinnati to remain in the thick of things in what should be a highly competitive NL Central that features three clubs with winning records as it is (the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs). Chapman would be a difficult piece to pry from GM Walt Jocketty and his staff, but he’s earning $8.05MM this season and may see that price soar beyond the $11MM mark in his final trip through arbitration this winter. If the Reds end up rebuilding, Chapman’s electric arm does little good on a rebuilding club.
Joaquin Benoit, Padres: It’d be a bit unconventional for the Padres to trade a dominant setup man while the team is striving for an NL West division title or, at the very least, a Wild Card berth. Nothing about A.J. Preller’s tenure as Padres GM has been considered all that conventional, however, and San Diego is rife with power arms — so much so that they had to begin the season with Kevin Quackenbush in the minor leagues. Benoit has plenty of closing experience and isn’t a long-term piece in San Diego, as he is a free agent at season’s end. Benoit is earning $8MM this season and has a club option for the same rate that comes with a $1.5MM buyout.
Addison Reed, D-Backs: Perhaps replacing one struggling closer with another wouldn’t really do the team any good, but the Marlins could look to buy low on Reed, who blew his second save Wednesday night and has an ERA of 7.20 in this season’s small sample of 10 innings. Homers were Reed’s undoing in 2014, but the 26-year-old has maintained good strikeout and walk rates since transitioning to the National League, and Miami’s spacious park could alleviate some of his issues with the long ball. Earning $4.875MM in 2015, Reed is controlled through the 2017 season.
Jason Grilli/Jim Johnson, Braves: Each member of Atlanta’s primary eighth/ninth-inning duo comes with significant experience as a closer, with Grilli currently occupying the role for manager Fredi Gonzalez despite Johnson’s superior numbers. Johnson’s numbers plummeted after his control evaporated in 2014, but he’s pitching well this season, with improved command and strikeout numbers in addition to his typically elite ground-ball tendencies. He’s on a cheap one-year deal and would be affordable for any club, though Grilli is hardly expensive in his own right. Grilli is on a two-year, $8MM contract with the Braves, and though his ERA is an unsightly 5.23, he’s posted a brilliant 17-to-4 K/BB ratio in 10 1/3 innings. Assuming his .391 BABIP regresses, Grilli should be just fine moving forward.
Neftali Feliz, Rangers: The former top prospect and Rookie of the Year is controlled relatively cheaply through the 2016 season — he’s earning $4.1MM in 2015 — and has pitched well in the early stages of the season. Gone is the fastball that averaged 96-97 mph prior to Tommy John surgery, but Feliz’s 93.7 mph average has been enough to get the job done. His strikeout rate is up from 2014, and his fly-ball tendencies figure to play better in Marlins Park than in Arlington’s Globe Life Park. The Rangers have once again been ravaged by injuries, and if they become sellers this summer, Feliz figures to generate interest.
Tyler Clippard, Athletics: As recently noted on Fangraphs, the A’s have been one of baseball’s unluckiest teams, due largely to bullpen deficiencies. Clippard currently sports an aesthetically pleasing ERA, but his strikeout and walk rates have gone in the wrong direction and suggest trouble could be on the horizon. If he turns it around, however, he could hold some appeal for a team in need of a ninth-inning arm. It may seem counterintuitive for Oakland to deal arguably its most talented reliever, but GM Billy Beane showed a willingness to deal from his Major League assets at the trade deadline in 2014. It’s also far from a guarantee that the A’s can climb out of the early hole they’ve dug; they currently trail the Astros by eight-and-a-half games, and given the number of expiring assets on their roster (Clippard, Scott Kazmir, Ben Zobrist), they may elect to retool this summer if the ship cannot be righted. His $8.3MM salary might be steep for Miami, but Oakland could kick in some money to facilitate the deal.
The Marlins’ farm system ranked 24th in the eyes of ESPN’s Keith Law and 26th in Baseball America’s late-March rankings, so there’s not a ton of elite talent to work with in trades. However, many of the listed options here are either buy-low candidates or some with reasonably high contracts that might limit the potential return for the selling club.
It should also be noted, of course, that Cishek may perform well in lower-leverage settings and eventually reclaim the role. The Marlins, one would think, certainly hope for that to be the case. But Cishek’s velocity is down two miles per hour from the 2014 season and nearly three miles per hour from its peak. He’s also walked eight hitters in 11 1/3 innings this season after previously exhibiting good control in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Perhaps most troubling of all, his once powerful sinker has plummeted from generating 56-60 percent grounders to just 25 percent in 2015. It should be stressed that we’re looking at a sample 11 innings when examining Cishek’s struggles, but there are unquestionably red flags that may override the oft-used “small sample size” caveat at this point.