The Marlins have finalized their minor league deal with right-hander Dustin McGowan, per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo and MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported last week that the Fish were in talks with the ACES client on a new minor league deal after he was released by the Rays in Spring Training. Presumably, McGowan will head to Triple-A for the time being.
McGowan, 36, spent the 2016-17 seasons with the Marlins. In that time, he totaled 144 2/3 innings of 3.86 ERA ball with 7.9 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and 1.2 HR/9 with a 53 percent ground-ball rate. A starter early in his career with the Blue Jays, McGowan has worked almost entirely out of the bullpen since 2013 — often tossing more than one inning per appearance — and logged a 4.08 ERA in 275 2/3 frames in that time.
[Related: Miami Marlins depth chart]
Miami entered the season with Brad Ziegler as its closer and a pair of quality setup pieces behind him in the form of Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider. Jarlin Garcia’s move into the rotation, though, has only further muddled the bullpen picture behind that trio. Junichi Tazawa is missing bats early in the season but has also walked six batters (albeit two intentionally) in 7 2/3 innings. And the group of Tayron Guerrero, Odrisamer Despaigne, Chris O’Grady and Tyler Cloyd, each presently in the Miami relief corps, comes with little in the way of certainty.
McGowan probably won’t make any starts for the Marlins — he has just one start since 2015 — but his ability to work longer stints in relief makes him a sensible depth add for a Miami club with a thin bullpen mix and a highly inexperienced rotation.