Galloway battled for ten seasons in the minors before finally debuting last year in Miami. The 29-year-old lost his 40-man spot this spring but earned his way back up by popping four long balls in his first forty plate appearances at Triple-A to open the present season.
The Marlins are on the hunt for a veteran addition to their largely inexperienced bullpen, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Miami president of baseball operations Michael Hill tells Frisaro plainly that his club is “exploring” the addition of an experienced reliever to help work with younger arms like Drew Steckenrider, Adam Conley and Tayron Guerrero at the back of the Marlins’ bullpen.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that Sergio Romo is among the names the Marlins are considering, which makes for the fourth team tied to Romo in the past two days. (Toronto, Minnesota and Texas were all tied to Romo recently, though the latter two are said to prefer a minor league deal for the veteran righty.) MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that Romo is a “strong possibility” for Miami, noting that while the team has talked to other names, Romo appears to be the team’s focus at present.
Frisaro, meanwhile, lists right-handers Nick Vincent and Adam Warren as possibilities for the Fish, noting that new Marlins pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. is quite familiar with Vincent from the pair’s time together with the Mariners.
There’s a fair bit of uncertainty surrounding the complexion of Miami’s relief corps at present, with few locks to make the big league roster beyond the aforementioned trio of Steckenrider, Conley and Guerrero. Steckenrider was the team’s best reliever in 2018, and while Guerrero had his share of struggles, he boasts a triple-digit fastball and, more importantly, is out of minor league options (as is Conley).
Righty Austin Brice, recently claimed off waivers, is another out-of-options arm who could quite likely factor into the fold. Hill spoke with Frisaro at length about how Brice would give the team a ground-ball-oriented reliever it lacked last season following the trade of Brad Ziegler. However, while Hill termed Brice a “severe sinkerball pitcher,” it’s worth noting that Brice’s 51.2 percent ground-ball rate, while above the league average, is still a ways from elite territory.
In hearing Hill talk about his desire to have a reliever who can get crucial grounders when needed, it’s worth noting that none of Romo, Vincent or Warren is much of a ground-ball pitcher. Warren was earlier in his career but saw his grounder rate dip below 40 percent last season, while Romo and Vincent have been fly-ball arms throughout their careers. That’s not to say that the Marlins couldn’t add one of that bunch, of course; however, if that’s a goal for the Miami front office, then perhaps the addition of someone such as Romo won’t be the last new arm brought into the mix. There are a few other free-agent relievers still on the market, and Spring Training will present further opportunities for the Marlins to add arms of that nature as they become available via waivers or as veteran relievers opt out of minor league deals with other organizations throughout March.
The Marlins announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Austin Brice off waivers from the Orioles and designated outfielder Isaac Galloway for assignment in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Miami also announced its previously reported trade of Nick Wittgren to the Indians.
Brice, 26, returns to the organization for which he made his MLB debut back in 2016. The right-hander was initially a ninth-round pick by the Marlins back in 2010 and has spent part of the past three seasons in the Majors after going to Cincinnati with Luis Castillo in the Dan Straily trade, but he’s yet to find any real success. Brice saw a career-high 37 1/3 innings with the Reds last year but was knocked around for a 5.79 ERA with a 32-to-13 K/BB ratio (although, notably, six of those walks were intentional in nature).
It’s been an eventful offseason for Brice, who was claimed by the Angels back on Nov. 2. He went to Baltimore on a waiver claim two months later in early January and will now join his fourth organization since the season ended. If he heads to camp with the Fish, he’ll bring a fastball that sits 94 mph and a solid, albeit unspectacular career swinging-strike rate of 10.1 percent.
Galloway, 29, reached the big leagues for the first time in 2018 but hit just .203/.301/.391 in 74 trips to the plate. He did swat three homers and doubles apiece in that short time, but he’s never been much of a power threat in the upper minors. A career .256/.304/.393 hitter in parts of four Triple-A seasons, Galloway has logged more than 7600 innings in center field as a professional and has experience at all three outfield positions.
This move makes for a textbook example of 40-man musical chairs. Reinheimer was designated by the Texas club after previously pinging from the Mets to the Cubs and then on to the Rangers. Likewise, Brice was a recent waiver addition for the Baltimore organization.
Reinheimer, 26, has minimal experience at the game’s highest level. He has shown very little power in the minors but does have enough contact ability and plate discipline to carry a lifetime .344 on-base percentage. He has experience across the infield but has spent most of his time at shortstop.
As for Brice, who’s also 26, there’s a bit more of a major-league track record to go on. Unfortunately, he carries only a 5.68 ERA through 84 innings. He does, however, have a mid-nineties heater and 10.1% swinging-strike rate in the big leagues.
The Orioles have claimed right-hander Austin Brice off waivers from the Angels, as announced by both teams. In a corresponding move to clear roster space, the O’s have designated infielder Breyvic Valera for assignment. Baltimore now has a full 40-man roster.
This is the second time the hard-throwing Brice has switched organizations this offseason, as he was claimed off the Reds roster by the Angels back in November, but then DFA’ed by the Halos last week once they signed Jonathan Lucroy. Brice, 26, has a 5.68 ERA over 84 career innings with the Reds and Marlins from 2016-18. His main issue at the big league level has been the home run ball, with an ungainly 1.9 HR/9 over the last two seasons. Despite his homer woes, Brice has generated ground balls (career 51.2% grounder rate) at an above-average rate. It’s a fairly low-risk acquisition by the Orioles, who will be exploring any number of young players as they begin their rebuilding process.
Valera has a .529 OPS over 86 career Major League plate appearances with the Orioles, Dodgers, and Cardinals, and he is perhaps best known for being included as part of the trade package L.A. sent to Baltimore last summer for Manny Machado. Turning 27 next week, Valera does own a pretty solid .299/.357/.388 slash line over 3659 career minor league PA and he offers some utility depth. Valera has spent much of his pro career as a second baseman, though he has experience playing any position on the diamond except catcher and pitcher.
The Angels have designated right-hander Austin Brice to make room for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, whose signing is now official, Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports.
The 26-year-old Brice didn’t last long on the Angels’ 40-man roster, as the club claimed him off waivers from the Reds on Nov. 2. A ninth-round pick of the Marlins in 2010, Brice has logged an underwhelming 5.68 ERA/5.25 FIP with 7.71 K/9 and 2.68 BB/9 in 84 major league innings, despite featuring 95 mph heat. Brice saw his most MLB action in 2018, when he threw 37 1/3 frames in Cincinnati and posted a 5.79 ERA/5.87 FIP with 7.71 K/9 and 3.13 BB/9.
While Brice has generated grounders at a solid 51.3 percent clip during his big league career, the fly balls he has allowed have been costly. Thus far, he’s the owner of a lofty 21.8 percent home run-to-fly ball rate at the game’s highest level. Brice has been far more effective in the minors, particularly in 53 1/3 innings in Triple-A, where he has pitched to a 2.87 ERA and recorded 9.3 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9.
The Angels have claimed right-hander Austin Brice from the Reds, per the Cincinnati organization.
Brice, 26, has not exactly distinguished himself in the majors to this point. Through 84 innings over the past three seasons, he carries a 5.68 ERA with 7.7 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9.
Clearly, though, the Halos like Brice’s arm. He works in the mid-nineties with a pair of heaters and also has shown two varieties of breaking balls. That arsenal has allowed the former ninth-round pick to compile a 2.70 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in his 53 1/3 total innings at the highest level of the minors.
The Reds have designated southpaw Kyle Crockett, the club announced. That move, along with the optioning of righty Austin Brice, allowed the club to promote southpaw Wandy Peralta and right-hander Keury Mella.
Crockett, 26, had recorded 11 strikeouts while issuing only one walk in his 9 1/3 MLB innings this year. Of course, he was also touched for six earned runs on 16 base knocks. He has seen scattered action over each of the past five MLB campaigns, holding same-handed-hitters to a cumulative .640 OPS but surrendering a .862 mark to opposing righty bats.
The Reds announced this afternoon that they’ve placed closer Raisel Iglesias on the 10-day disabled list due to soreness in his left (non-throwing) biceps. Fellow righty Austin Brice is also headed to the DL thanks to an upper back injury. In their place, the Reds activated righties Michael Lorenzen and Tanner Rainey from the disabled list. The announcement didn’t include any expected timeline for either player’s absence.
Iglesias, 28, struggled with his control early in the season but has corrected that issue lately and looked to be in excellent form since late April. He did issue a pair of runs and suffer his second blown save in his most recent appearance, but he’s gone 10 outings without issuing a walk and pitched to a 1.74 ERA with 12 strikeouts in that time. Overall in 21 2/3 innings this season, he’s notched a 2.08 ERA with 11.2 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 1.25 HR/9 and a 36.2 percent ground-ball rate.
Brice, meanwhile, has been scored upon in four of his past past five appearances, causing his ERA to balloon up to 4.67 despite largely promising K/BB and ground-ball tendencies. In 25 innings of relief this season, he’s averaged 9.4 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 with a 50.7 percent ground-ball rate. He’s been too prone to the long ball, though, already serving up four homers on the season. That’s been an ongoing trend for Brice in the big leagues, as he’s yielded a dozen big flies in just 71 2/3 frames at the game’s top level.
It’s not yet clear who’ll step into the ninth inning for the Reds with Iglesias out of action. For all of the Reds’ flaws, they actually have several high-quality options in the ’pen, where Amir Garrett, Jared Hughes and Dylan Floro have all worked to a sub-2.00 ERA in 2018. Garrett has very arguably been the team’s most dominant relief arm, averaging better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings and notching a 1.67 ERA in his 27 frames this far. The veteran Hughes has shown the best control of the bunch and comes with the most late-inning experience in the big leagues, having spent several seasons as a setup man for the division-rival Pirates. Lorenzen, meanwhile, was the top setup man to Iglesias last season but has yet to pitch in the Majors this season due to a shoulder strain that caused him to open the season on the disabled list.
The Marlins are “willing to engage” other clubs in trade talks regarding Giancarlo Stanton, tweets MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. That much has already been clear — Yahoo’s Jeff Passan indicated yesterday that four clubs had already had some level of dialogue with the Marlins regarding Stanton, who has cleared revocable waivers — but Morosi adds that there have yet to be any serious negotiations regarding the current MLB home run leader. Stanton is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, but he’s also owed a staggering $298.64MM through the end of the 2027 campaign. And while he can technically opt out after the 2020 season, doing so would mean forfeiting the remaining seven years and $218MM on his deal as he heads into his age-31 campaign. Stanton also has a full no-trade clause, which only adds a further layer of complexity.
A few more notes from the National League…
- After an injury-ruined 2016 season, Padres third baseman Cory Spangenberg has begun to force his way into the team’s plans, writes MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell. Spangenberg tore his right hamstring on two different occasions last year and was limited to 14 games, and he opened the 2017 campaign in Triple-A El Paso. The former first-round pick finally received regular playing time in the Majors this summer, and he’s run with the opportunity while thoroughly impressing manager Andy Green, Cassavell writes. “He was angry about being in the Minor Leagues, thought he belonged in the big leagues and handled it right,” Green added. “He’s gone out and proved it. He’s earned his spot.” Spangenberg entered play Wednesday hitting .280/.333/.442 on the season and .336/.413/.617 in the second half. The strong play of Spangenberg and second baseman Carlos Asuaje has pushed Yangervis Solarte to shortstop in recent weeks.
- Right-hander David Hernandez tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the Diamondbacks organization feels like home, and just a couple of weeks into his second stint with the team, it “kind of feels like [he] never left.” Hernandez discussed his struggles in recent seasons with Piecoro and also credits the addition of a slider to his fastball/curveball repertoire as a key factor in his resurgence. Hernandez acknowledges that he was wary of using the new pitch in Spring Training with the Giants, as he was trying to earn a roster spot and was reluctant to use a pitch that he had only recently adopted. He began mixing it in with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, though, and the results have been terrific. All three of Hernandez’s offerings carry positive pitch values (per Fangraphs), and he’s posted a 2.01 ERA with 9.2 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 through 40 1/3 innings this year.
- The Reds may have more question marks in their pitching staff heading into the final six weeks of the season than they did entering the year, writes Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The cavalcade of injuries that has beset the team’s rotation has deprived the Reds of looks at a number of young arms and also created uncertainty around preseason rotation locks such as Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan. A six-man rotation could be on the horizon, Buchanan notes, and Robert Stephenson is already set to rejoin the rotation this weekend. Manager Bryan Price also indicated that right-hander Sal Romano will continue starting, per Buchanan. The skipper also indicated that righty reliever Austin Brice could be done for the year due to a lat injury.