The Marlins have “signaled that they might be willing to trade” closer A.J. Ramos, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark (via Twitter). On the one hand, the news isn’t all that surprising, as Ramos projects to earn a relatively hefty $6.8MM in 2017 and is only controllable for another two seasons, so Miami could market him as it looks to add more stability to its rotation. On the other hand, there have been reports that the Marlins are weighing a run at right-hander Kenley Jansen to beef up the bullpen and shorten the game for their starters due to the lack of available rotation help. Moving Ramos would go against the stated goal of deepening the relief corps with high-end talent, although perhaps the team could look to add some rotation help by moving Ramos and replace him with a free-agent arm. Ramos, 30, posted a terrific 2.81 ERA with 10.3 K/9 but also averaged 4.9 BB/9 and posted a career-worst 36.4 percent ground-ball rate in 64 innings with Miami last year.
A few more notes on the Fish…
- There’s been “little to no dialogue” between the Marlins and other teams about outfielder Marcell Ozuna, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Many clubs are taking a patient approach to see how the pitching market develops before they determine whether they can part with an arm in a trade to address the outfield, Frisaro writes, and there isn’t much internal traction regarding the idea of dealing Ozuna. With Edinson Volquez on board, the Marlins may look further to the free-agent market rather than seeking trades to bolster the staff.
- Also from Frisaro, the Marlins have had internal discussions regarding Doug Fister, C.J. Wilson and Jon Niese. Previous reports have linked Miami to the latter two names, but this appears to be the first definitive link between the Marlins and Fister, who posted a 4.64 ERA with 5.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 45.3 percent ground-ball rate in 180 1/3 innings for the Astros last season. That marked a second consecutive weak showing for Fister, who was previously one of the more underrated starters in baseball while pitching for the Tigers. Fister’s strikeout rate has plummeted in recent years, though, and while he’s never thrown hard, his once 89-90 mph fastball is now more in the 86-87 mph range. David Phelps is also a candidate to step into the rotation, but the Marlins prefer that he remains at the back of the bullpen, Frisaro adds.
- Also of note from Frisaro’s piece on the team’s free-agent hunt, he lists Jansen and Aroldis Chapman as assets that are probably too expensive for the Marlins but lists right-handers Mark Melancon and Daniel Hudson as more affordable options that could be realistic targets.
- Meanwhile, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have reached out to the representatives for right-hander Dillon Gee, who became a free agent when he was cut loose by the Royals after the season. Gee is no stranger to the NL East, having spent the bulk of his career with the Mets, and he delivered 125 innings with a 4.68 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 41 percent ground-ball rate for Kansas City last year. However, Gee’s season came to an end when he required surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training, though, and would give the Marlins a veteran arm who could function in a swingman capacity, making some starts as needed but also providing a relief arm capable of throwing multiple innings.