Could Steve Cishek Be Done With The Marlins?


When counting down some of the Marlins most consistent players, the usual suspects are generally named first. Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and even Marcell Ozuna. Eventually somebody will throw out Steve Cishek’s name, and it always seems to be later than it should.

MLB blogger Joe Frisaro took questions from a mailbag earlier today and one of the questions he received was whether Steve Cishek figured into the Marlins plans in 2015. Frisaro believes that indeed Cishek is going to remain a Marlin for at least one more season.

"Cishek is reaching the point in his career where cost could become a factor. The sidearm-slinging right-hander made $3.8 million in 2014. After saving 39 games, his salary likely will top $5 million in ’15. It might be time for Miami to think of going multiyear with Cishek, locking up his final two arbitration years.I expect Cishek to return."

Joe is right on this one. Of course Miami is happy to see Steve Cishek continue to improve and provide a steady option in the closer role, but every year that salary keeps getting higher and higher.

One of the more popular thought processes around baseball is not to get caught paying too much money for your closer. Warning signs abound across the major leagues as cautionary tales such as Jonathon Papelbon in Philadelphia, or even Heath Bell in Miami a couple of years ago.

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This is especially crucial for a team with a very limited amount of salary to spend each year. It is no secret that the Marlins are not going to blow the bank out in free agency. With an expected payroll of 60 million dollars next year, There is little room for a high priced closer, even one as consistent as Cishek is.

Cishek was the 4th highest paid Marlin last year, and will likely be 3rd after salary arbitration. Even if he doesn’t factor into the Marlins long-term plans, Miami would be wise to enter arbitration and happily receive any offer, even one north of 5 million like Frisaro is predicting.

While I am a fan of Cishek, I also believe that he has some of the top trade value of any of the current Marlins. Miami has a deep bullpen, especially in terms of players who could close. Someone like Carter Capps, or even Nathan Eovaldi could be even better than Steve, and a trade would allow much needed improvement elsewhere.

When everything is said and done, the ultimate domino is, and always will be, Stanton. If Miami is unable to sign him long-term, and they decide to trade Big G, Cishek will likely be close behind. If Stanton is signed, look for Steve to be offered a team friendly deal during the same time period to prove to Giancarlo that Miami is committed to the future.