Should the Miami Marlins Explore the Trade Market for Closer Steve Cishek?
By Ehsan Kassim
The Miami Marlins apparently have a hot commodity and other teams around baseball want to trade for it. No, we are not talking about Giancarlo Stanton. Actually, we are talking about the Marlins 2013 closer, Steve Cishek. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had this tidbit in his column earlier today:
"6. Steve Cishek, RHP, Marlins — The side-arming sinker-baller, who played for Team USA, is drawing considerable interest from teams looking for a reliever. Cishek, who attended Falmouth High School, is 6 feet 6 inches, 215 pounds. In 2012, he took over as closer from Heath Bell for a spell and had 15 saves. One scout projects that Cishek “probably appears on the most wish lists around baseball.”"
Feb 12, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Steve Cishek (31) throws during spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
I believed at the time and still do, that Cishek should have been the Marlins closer to start the 2012 season. The team made an idiotic move to go sign Heath Bell to that ridiculous offer. In my interview with Jason Collette, he was in agreement with that sentiment.
According to Ken Rosenthal, before the World Baseball Classic, neither USA’s manager Joe Torre or Greg Maddux had an idea who Cishek was, but after general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. suggested Cishek’s name, they both asked around baseball, and were happy with what they heard.
After the WBC, both Greg Maddux, a former CY Young Award pitcher, and manager Joe Torre sang his praises.
"“I didn’t know a whole lot about him,” Torre said. “The people that have seen him basically talked him up because of his ability. He’s special, there’s no question. I mean, his ceiling is pretty high for me. I was very impressed with him.”“He’s done it every time,” Maddux said. “He’s kind of saved us when guys have been on base. He kept the game right there, kept us in the game, gave us a chance to win. It just didn’t work out for us. I like watching him pitch.”"
After the WBC’s exposure, Steve Cishek is a hot commodity on the trade market, he makes the league minimum, and is under team control. Marlins fans love Cishek and he has become a household name overnight. That means the Marlins should hold onto him, right?
The Marlins are not going to be a contending team in 2013, or for that matter in 2014. For a team like the Marlins, a closer is a luxury, not a necessity. In fact, Cishek is probably more valuable to the Marlins as a trading chip as opposed to being their closer.
Why is that? Check out this tweet by Joe Sheehan
To a contending team, a closer is almost a necessity to have. Add on the fact that Cishek is a pre-arbitration player and he has four years of team control left, the market for him should be great.
Trading a closer before he becomes arbitration eligible is nothing that’s unheard of. Just last season, Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics traded their closer and former Rookie of the Year, Andrew Bailey to the Boston Red Sox. In return, the Athletics acquired Josh Reddick.
While Reddick was never seen as a top prospect, he showed plenty of pop in his bat in the minors. When given a full-time job, Reddick posted a .242/.305/.463 slash line with 32 homer runs and a .326 wOBA. He also played excellent defense in right field, which helped him produce a WAR above 4, according to Fangraphs.
If the Marlins can get a suitable player to fill their holes at third or second, trading Cishek makes a ton of sense. If they cannot, the Marlins can hang on to him. Either way, the Marlins would be wise to gauge the trade market for their closer and see if they can add an impact player in return.
What do you guys think, should the Marlins entertain offers for their closer? Vote on the poll below or drop a comment in the comment section and let me know.