The Marlins have checked in with the representatives for free agent reliever Alex Reyes, report Craig Mish and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The former All-Star closer is coming off a season lost to shoulder surgery.
Reyes has had an unfortunate number of injuries over the course of his career. One of the sport’s top pitching prospects during his days in the Cardinals system, he debuted in the big leagues with 46 innings of 1.57 ERA ball in 2016. That’d be almost the entirety of his major league work for a while, though, as he underwent Tommy John surgery the ensuing offseason. That cost him all of the 2017 campaign. Rehab from the TJ procedure and a subsequent lat strain limited him to just one MLB appearance in 2018, and he pitched only four times at the highest level in ’19 while struggling in the minors in his attempt to return to form.
St. Louis shuttled him on and off the active roster throughout the abbreviated 2020 season, but he finally carved out a full year in 2021. Working exclusively in relief, the righty tossed 72 1/3 innings with a 3.24 ERA. He carried a 1.52 mark while holding opponents to a .154/.307/.210 line in the first half to secure the aforementioned trip to the Midsummer Classic. The stretch run was a disaster, though, as he was tagged for a 5.52 ERA across 31 frames. Reyes’ strikeout and walk numbers were roughly the same in both halves, but he became increasingly homer-prone towards year’s end. That carried over into the playoffs, where Reyes surrendered a walk-off homer to Chris Taylor in the final National League Wild Card game.
While it wasn’t clear at the time, that looks as if it’ll be Reyes’ final pitch in a Cardinals uniform. St. Louis flirted with the idea of moving him to the rotation last offseason, but those plans were scuttled when he felt renewed soreness in his shoulder. He underwent surgery in May and St. Louis non-tendered him at the end of the season rather than pay an arbitration salary projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz at $2.85MM.
That’s at least partially motivated by the fact that Reyes isn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day, as Jackson and Mish point out. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote last month the 28-year-old was targeting a return to game action by May, suggesting he’s still a few weeks behind the typical pitcher’s schedule as he builds back arm strength.
Despite the delayed timetable, it’s understandable other teams would consider rolling the dice on his upside. The Blue Jays and Dodgers have also been linked to Reyes at points this offseason. Reyes struck out 30% of opponents while averaging around 97 MPH on his fastball in 2021, and hitters came up empty more than half the time they offered at his mid-80s slider. A sky-high 16.4% walk rate was cause for some trepidation even before his latest lost season, but there’s no doubt a fully healthy Reyes boasts an electric arsenal. He also saved 29 games in 2021, suggesting he’s capable of taking on a ninth-inning role if entrusted with that responsibility.
Miami had a slightly below-average bullpen in 2022, finishing 22nd in ERA (4.15) and 13th in strikeout percentage (24%). Anthony Bass, their top reliever, was dealt to the Blue Jays midseason, while they flipped Jeff Brigham to the Mets at year’s end. Steven Okert, Richard Bleier and Tanner Scott are on hand as left-handed options, but the depth from the right side is lacking behind Dylan Floro. Adding a power righty arm makes some sense, and new manager Skip Schumaker has some familiarity with Reyes after spending this past season as the Cards bench coach.
Hopefully he can overcome these injuries. I’ve always enjoyed watching him pitch when healthy.
*Marlins to acquire J.P. Feyereisen from Rays in exchange for Cash
Exactly what I was thinking. Marlins feel like a team that could take on a redemption story in a relief arm, plus Tampa Bay will trade him even if all they get in return is cash.
Nice a guy out for most of the season with a shoulder injury…still an improvement for what was an abhorrent bullpen that couldnt hold any lead to save their lives
I can almost see Kim Ng and Bruce Sherman digging through a U-Pick junk yard of players, knee-high in mud and other cruddy stuff, and Kim holding up an arm and saying, “this one looks good.” And Bruce responding, “That looks like it’s worth more than $20, so hide it in your pockets and keep searching for $5 parts so we won’t look suspicious.”
This one belongs to the Reds
Marlins interested in Alex Reyes…along with 29 other teams.
A good high heat closer when healthy.
With his injury history, he’s probably best taking a few ticks off his FB, getting it under control, and reducing risk of further injury. He’s a tantalizing arm though, no doubt.
This one belongs to the Reds
You could build a nice bullpen with some of the guys available.
If I were, say, a small market team with three hotshot young starters who had games blown for them by a lousy bullpen last season, I’d pay attention to that and grab a few to get to an upcoming stud closer.
But that’s just me.
Very frustrating to watch him work. He had unhittable stuff but always got behind in the count. When he missed the strike zone he missed by a lot. On days he had control he was very successful but those were few and far between.
I truly miss the Marlins of 1997 & 2003. They bought some championships and then dumped the players. That’s how you win it all. Much better than garbage time teams, such as:
San Diego Padres
Tampa Bay Rays
Hopefully, MLB implements a policy that if you haven’t won a championship in 50 years, you lose your franchise and the league contracts. This would also remove another garbage team like the Guardians, and provide motivation to teams to win.
MLBPA would like a word.
Why? Pushing out failed franchises to play in the highest level is ridiculous and bad for the sport. At least, these teams need to be regulated to a lower level where they would be more competitive.
The players want more opportunities for their members, not less, especially since minor leaguers voted to join the MLBPA. On top of that, there has been the threat of contraction of minor league franchises. Any opportunities for minimum major league salaries would be a boon to any of the players on the fringes of major league rosters. There are limited opportunities abroad, because most foreign leagues have limits on foreign players. Besides, even the teams with the lowest attendance and payroll figures benefit from local/regional & national television contracts. Plus, MLB just made a major sale of its software/apps arm. Even the teams with the lowest valuations are at around $1B. There may be franchise relocations, but I think you’re more likely to see expansion than contraction. Future fights may happen over caps and floors. I can’t see getting one without the other.
When you’re little, you learn that just because you want something, doesn’t always mean you get it. That’s part of life and watering down the qualify of players in the MAJOR LEAGUE doesn’t mean better quality of play. We literally have guys who are paid millions to throw a ball for 1 inning and do it 26 times in a season. Baseball has become so watered down and weak that it isn’t even recognizable from what it used to be. I refer to it as the highest level of minor league baseball because we’ve moved away from having the best talent in the league to having as many bodies in the league as possible.
Congratulations, you sent me a link to the value of the franchises. Sadly, you said all the teams were valued at $!B, but the Marlins are not. That’s disinformation.
I said around, not over.
Is that the same as saying $500 is AROUND $1B? LOL!
I’d say 990,000,000 is around 1,000,000,000 since it’s only 1% below.
Wow you win most ridiculous post of the day award. Congrats
So, you’re calling it ridiculous, but couldn’t be bothered to type a few more words as so why. Yeah, thanks for coming out!
I mean he’s right though. It is thoroughly ridiculous…
Some comments are so ridiculous they don’t deserve an explanation. Yours was one of those comments.
Again, I will ask, how it is ridiculous? Do you not like logical arguments? Please, present something I can chew on…
Yet, you had the time to bother replying to me. LOL! Keep them softballs coming, boys!
Old York, the fact that I have to explain how absurd this post is says a lot, but here goes.
1. Calling other organizations garbage without knowing the first thing about them or the cities they represent is ignorant.
2. Because a team didn’t win the World Series is not a reason to get rid of the team.
3. As I recall, Marlins fans hated the owner for gutting the 98 and 03 teams.
4. The teams that you call “garbage” have all been to the playoffs since 03, the Marlins haven’t. I don’t count 2020 as a real season.
5. Marlins ownership has no clear vision of where they want to go. Jeter and Donny Baseball left because the team is directionless.
6. Didn’t the Marlins mislead the city into buying a new stadium?
7. Where are the Marlins in attendance?
8. The Padres had the 5th best attendance of any team last year and had to cap season ticket sales. That must be bad for MLB.
1. What do I not know about them?
2.. I think it is a good reason as it encourages teams to actually win and not just puff around for 5th place. They should at least be regulated.
3.. Well, if your fanbase hates winning championships, then clearly, the fans don’t understand how winning works. Probably best for them to chose a different sport. But, I do know that baseball in Florida is not a great place for it. Probably would make sense to move Miami & TB out of that market.
4. So, I’ll assume that since you don’t count 2020 as a real season, then we should really not count any of the other playoffs after the 1969, as that is when they allowed more than 2 teams into the playoffs. Did you think the 2022 playoffs were also not legitimate as they allowed more teams into play? I’ll also assume you don’t think there was a WS winner, despite the teams agreeing to those terms. Righ…
5. Which is why I said I miss those teams.
6. Off-topic? Regardless, the city paid it and life goes on. Did the city take any legal action?
7. Relevance to the OP?
8. I agree, it is bad when a team has wasted so many years in the league that they can’t be bothered to even win one championship. If I’m MLB, I would be embarrassed to have such a team in the ranks.
Wow more ignorance. Enjoy last place with your rudderless team. Even though the Marlins have no plan to win and don’t draw fans, I still don’t want them disbanded.
Future Marlins closer.
Stops being interested stops the nonsense and sign this guy. If he becomes what he can be and becomes your closer at half season you can flip him fora good prospect. He is young has plenty of talent and can be a steal, so stop the “we are interested, we are thinking about it, we are looking
at him. For once do something intelligently, wise and with lots of benefits and potential. So far we have seen the righting on the wall, there is no direction this leadership lacks simple abilities to put a tram together that can compete in their division. That is so sad because the amount of talented pitchers the actually have. Sad, very sad and very disappointed as a Marlins fan. The could have signed Abreu, signed Drury and with those to alone this team would have been a contender in their division. Sad very sad their nonsense approach so far.
I think you guys misspelled “Slightly below average bullpen.” I think the spelling you were looking for was “abhorrent”
The Saber-toothed Superfife
I think the Tigers should be interested in this guy…
I should stop being interested in the Tigers…….
LOL! I’m not a Marlins fan. Those teams in ’97 and ’03 were much better for baseball than the nonsense nowadays.
Kim Ng, the master of checking in with no planned followup.