MAY 17: The Marlins have changed course in regards to Beimel, it seems, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald now reports (via Twitter) that Miami has “decided to pass” on Beimel and did not ultimately complete the previously reported agreement. It’s not clear at this time what exactly led to Miami’s decision to pass on the deal.
MAY 12: The Marlins have signed veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). Presumably, the 39-year-old Frye McCann Sports client’s deal is of the minor league variety. He’ll report to extended Spring Training for the time being to get up to speed, per Frisaro. Beimel auditioned for clubs last week, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported at the time.
Beimel returned to the Majors in 2014 after a two-year absence and went on to deliver a pair of strong seasons out of the Seattle bullpen. Over that 2014-15 stretch with the Mariners, the southpaw worked to a 3.12 ERA with 4.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 45.9 percent ground-ball rate in 92 1/3 innings of work. While ERA estimators such as FIP and SIERA feel his ERA drastically overstates his performance in that time (due largely to a lack of strikeouts), Beimel’s numbers against left-handed batters were quite strong; lefties batted just .226/.281/.381 against him, and his 17.7 percent strikeout rate and 5.3 percent walk rate against lefties in that time were both fairly sound. Of course, Beimel also walked more right-handed batters than he struck out in that time and yielded a .275/.353/.432 line to hitters that held the platoon advantage, suggesting that he’s best-suited for a specialist role.
Yesterday’s DFA of Craig Breslow rendered the Marlins as the only club without a left-handed relief option at the Major League level, Frisaro pointed out last night (Twitter link), so the addition of a veteran depth option is perhaps unsurprising. It’s unclear how much time Beimel would need to ramp up and become an option for the Fish at the big league level, but he doesn’t seem likely to be available in the near future based on his initial assignment.