The Marlins have acquired right-hander Louis Head from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Miami has designated outfielder Brian Miller for assignment in a corresponding move to create roster space.
Head made his MLB debut in 2021 and impressed in terms of bottom-line numbers, posting a 2.31 ERA over 35 innings out of Tampa’s bullpen (with two “starts” but as an opener). Advanced metrics like a 4.03 SIERA and 23.9% strikeout rate weren’t as impressive and Head did benefit from a .216 BABIP, but he also did a very good job of limiting hard contact.
Perhaps moreso than his solid numbers, Head might be the poster child for the Rays’ penchant for shuttling pitchers back and forth from Triple-A. Head was called up and sent down a whopping 12 times last season, as the Rays constantly looked to move fresh arms in and out of their bullpen.
Head turns 32 in April, and was originally an 18th-round draft pick for Cleveland in 2012. After eight seasons in the minors with the Guardians and Dodgers, Head was on the verge of leaving baseball entirely before catching on with the Rays this past offseason. He’ll now go to Miami with presumably a better chance of sticking in the majors for a slightly more extended period of time, adding another live arm to a Marlins bullpen that was quietly pretty solid in 2021.
From the Rays’ perspective, they have the relief depth on paper to account for Head’s departure, and Tampa now also opens up another 40-man roster spot before Friday’s deadline to set rosters in advance of the Rule 5 draft. The Rays made another roster clearance-type of deal yesterday, sending utility infielder Mike Brosseau to the Brewers.
Miller also made his Major League debut this past season, receiving 11 plate appearances over five games. Miller was selected 36th overall in the 2017 draft, but a modest .284/.338/.360 slash line over 1759 PA in the Marlins’ system kept him from truly establishing himself as a part of the team’s future. Miller does boast plenty of speed, which has led to 119 stolen bases out of 155 chances and the defensive versatility to handle any of the three outfield positions.