The Athletic and other sports outlets are reporting the Miami Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal that would involve closer Brad Ziegler.
The submarine-style pitcher has been the subject of several trade rumors involving the Miami Marlins over the past few days. Ken Rosenthal broke the news of the possible deal for Brad Ziegler on his Twitter account. That trade has now been confirmed by Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
The move to trade Ziegler isn’t surprising given the veteran reliever will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. Per Steve Adams of mlbtraderumors.com, Ziegler is a short-term answer for bullpen help while the team makes its run toward the playoffs.
"“Ziegler, 38, is a rental piece who is earning $9MM in 2018 and will hit free agency at season’s end,” writes Adams. “He’s still owed about $2.95MM of that sum through the end of the year, and it’s not clear if the Marlins are picking up any of the tab on that salary.”"
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The Diamondbacks are getting a pitcher who has been white-hot the past two months for Miami. He converted 20 of his 26 save opportunities in the Marlins closer’s role before he was placed in the set-up role, with Kyle Barraclough assuming ninth-inning specialist duties.
"Adams added that Ziegler, “Has a 0.93 ERA with a 22-to-11 K/BB ratio and an otherworldly 80.3 percent ground-ball rate through 29 innings dating back to June 1. Right-handed opponents are batting just .219/.305/.365 against Ziegler this season and have mustered only a .229/.285/.300 slash against him over the course of his Major League career.”"
The move makes sense for Miami, who stands to gain nothing if Ziegler leaves via free agency after this season.
Ziegler provided a veteran presence in the bullpen and was better in middle relief once he switched roles for the Marlins. Miami has multiple young arms that could fill the role of closer along with Barraclough. Drew Steckenrider and Tayron Guerrero could also fill that role.
The Marlins have also been fortunate to have Adam Conley in the pen. Conley, who was thought to be a starter at some point this season after he was brought up from Triple-A New Orleans, but once he proved he could fill the role of long reliever and at times, set-up man, the team decided the ‘pen was the best place for him.
Both Steckenrider and Conley has also been the subject of trade talk.
Frisaro wrote on his Twitter page the Marlins will receive right-hander Tommy Eveld in return for Ziegler. The 24-year-old was at the Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate.
Being a Diamondback is nothing new for the veteran, who played in Arizona from 2011-2016. This season he has a 3.98 ERA and a National League-high 53 appearances.