The Miami Marlins have one of the deepest bullpens in the Major Leagues. They are still, however, missing one piece from their off-season of free agent acquisitions.
This last off-season saw the Miami Marlins dump a decent sum of money into their bullpen. There was not a starter in free agency that grabbed their attention other than Edinson Volquez. However, the fish did have their sights set on adding to their bullpen depth.
We have already seen two of their additions in Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa. There is still one piece that the Fish have yet to unveil. This was not because they didn’t want him out there, but a biceps injury in the Spring limited his availability.
Jeff Locke was another of the Marlins’ bullpen moves this offseason. Miami inked Locke to a one year $3 million deal. So far this looks like another case of poor offseason decision making that results in an overpaid veteran.
However, if Locke does return to his 2013 stats that saw him go 10-7 with a 3.52 ERA and 125 K’s, this may prove to be a decent addition. Locke was non-tendered a contract by the Pirates after a dismal 2016 season. At just 29, Locke has seen more poor performing seasons that good ones.
What to do with Locke?
"“He’s one of those guys that’s been a starter, but also could be a nice little bridge guy for us to be able to take pressure off other guys in our pen.”"
This tells us that Locke is likely headed to the pen upon return. The bigger question is, if Locke continues and makes the big league pen.
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Who is leaving to make room? The roster is already jam packed with big league talent. The only reliever that still has options to be sent to the minors would be Jarlin Garcia.
Sending Garcia down would result in the Fish being left right where they are now, only having one left-handed pitcher out of the pen. Being that the Marlins are already working with a 4 man bench, there is no dwindling down there.
Aside from sending Garcia down, there are really only two other options. Trade or release someone. My personal candidate for this would be to get rid of another vastly overpaid veteran who has failed on almost an impressive level so far this season.
Tazawa has not had the start to his Marlins career that everyone hoped he would. Instead he has had more of the predictable start that experts thought he would.
Regardless of what the Marlins do when Locke is back, they will have some serious decisions to make regarding their roster.