1:31pm: The Marlins and Diamondbacks have announced the trade. Arizona moved Shelby Miller to the 60-day disabled list to open a 40-man roster spot — a move that could end Miller’s season.
Ziegler, 38, is a rental piece who is earning $9MM in 2018 and will hit free agency at season’s end. He’s still owed about $2.95MM of that sum through the end of the year, which the D-Backs will pick up in full.
While Ziegler’s 3.98 ERA on the season isn’t especially eye-catching, he’s been on absolute fire over the past two months, working to a sterling 0.93 ERA with a 22-to-11 K/BB ratio and an otherworldly 80.3 percent ground-ball rate through 29 innings dating back to June 1. Right-handed opponents are batting just .219/.305/.365 against Ziegler this season and have mustered only a .229/.285/.300 slash against him over the course of his Major League career.
The D-Backs are certainly plenty familiar with Ziegler, as he pitched for the organization from 2011 through 2016. He came to the organization at the deadline seven years ago today, then was spun off in a July 2016 deal that paid dividends for the Red Sox down the stretch. Ziegler joined the Marlins on a two-year pact in the ensuing winter. Over his time in Arizona, Ziegler worked to a sparkling 2.49 ERA and recorded 62 saves in 335 2/3 innings.
As for Evald, the 24-year-old is a recent ninth-round pick who only recently re-started his baseball career. He had recently moved up to the Double-A level after a dominant showing at High-A, where he spun 36 1/3 innings of 1.24 ERA ball with 10.4 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9.
Given how things looked after Ziegler’s ugly opening work this year, this counts as a clear win for the Marlins. Not only did they acquire a reasonably interesting pitching prospect, but they saved some real money on the tail end of Ziegler’s contract.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 tweeted the connection between the teams, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter) saying a deal was close and Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter) reporting one was in place. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (in a tweet) had the return, with Zach Buchanan of The Athletic (on Twitter) providing the financial details.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.