Marlins sign Nick Masset to minor league deal
By Ehsan Kassim
The saying that you can never have too much strongly applies to baseball, especially when it comes to veteran relief arms. As we all know, nothing is more volatile season-to-season than relief pitching.
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For that reason, even with a stocked bullpen, the Marlins signed former Red and Rockie,Nick Masset
to a minor league deal on Tuesday evening. This according to CBS’ Jon Heyman (via Twitter).
Masset, 32-years old, spent the 2014 season with the Colorado Rockies. He posted a 5.80 ERA and a 4.33 FIP in 45 innings (across 51 appearances). Masset allowed a .371 BABIP last year, leading to his inflated ERA.
The 2014 season was the first year back in the majors for Masset, after missing 2012 and 2013 Masset’s because of shoulder issues and thoracic outlet syndrome.
Before his injuries, Masset was an effective reliever for the Cincinnati Reds. His two best seasons were the 2009 and 2010 seasons, where he pitched at least 76 innings in back-to-back seasons. In 2009, Masset posted an impressive 2.37 ERA, backed up by a 3.23 FIP. The following season, in 2010, Masset posted his best strikeout numbers of his career, striking out 85 in 76 2/3 innings, or nearly 10 hitters per nine innings.
In 2011, Masset posted a 3.71 ERA and a 3.55 FIP in 70 innings, which earned a 2-year $5.5 million contract. Unfortunately for both sides, Masset would never throw a pitch in the major for the Reds franchise again.
Signing Masset to a minor league deal gives the Marlins a nice buy-low project. If he can return to his Reds form, the Marlins added a quality major league reliever for a low price. If he continues to deal with the injuries and inconsistencies that have plagued him for the past four seasons, the Marlins can cut ties and move on quickly, not having spent too much.
The Marlins already own an impressive bullpen, featuring Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, and others. Signing Masset and hoping he returns to form gives the Marlins another option they could use, for when injuries or inconsistencies creak onto the major league pen.