The Miami Marlins have a several number of players that are arbitration eligible. The list includes Henderson Alvarez, Aaron Crow, Mike Dunn, Dee Gordon, Mat Latos, David Phelps, and Steve Cishek. The salary arbitration day to file was yesterday and all seven filed. The numbers exchange deadline in on Friday. The club however has a policy that if a deal is not reached by the exchange deadline; they will go to an arbitration hearing. Right now this is the priority for the Marlins.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Cishek’s representative expressed his thoughts on starting talks for a multi-year deal. Nevertheless, the Marlins have expressed their wishes in going year-to-year with him. Cishek is not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.
Can a multi-year be smart for Miami?
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Steve Cishek has been a solid arm out of relief for the Marlins since joining the team at the end of the season in 2010. The year after he mainly served as a middle-relief option but was used in a setup role at times.
In 2012, the Marlins went out to get closer Heath Bell, who was a free agent. Heath Bell would not work out well for the team as he had 8 blown saves and a pitchers WAR of -0.7. The Marlins had leads blown many times that season and the team looked for other options. They decided to go closer by committee and that turned out to be a great decision as they were able to find their future closer.
Steve Cishek had 15 saves when the season ended and posted an ERA of 2.69. Cishek would go onto being the team’s closer for the next two years.
In 2013, Cishek threw in 69 games achieving 34 saves in 36 opportunities. He improved his WAR dramatically to a 2.1 and dropped his ERA to 2.33. He was not named to the All-Star team but he did pitch before the season in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA. Coaches and players around baseball couldn’t help but notice Cishek’s effectiveness. Cishek pitched very well in his time in the WBC and 2013 was a great jump for him in his career.
Last Season, Cishek pitched in 67 games and attained 39 saves in 43 opportunities. His ERA did rise to a 3.17 and his WAR dropped to a 0.9 in a year that the team was 15 wins more successful that the season before. Maybe this drop in numbers is the reasoning for the teams wants in going year-to-year with their closer. Cishek is just 28-years-old and seems to have a good long career ahead of him. He did raise his overall strikeouts and limited his walks. Cishek also has only given up 3 homers each year from 2012-2014. Cishek also has been a way better pitcher at home, only blowing 2 saves at Marlins Park since 2012.
It will be smart if the Marlins can get a contract extension with Cishek. There is a chance they could get him in a club-friendly deal and have that position locked for years to come in a time where closers are starting to get paid a lot more. Miami should jump on this as Cishek has expressed he wants to stay in Miami, and be a part of the teams plans for the future.