What happens now since the Miami Marlins have traded away their closer to the Minnesota Twins?
At least the Miami Marlins have options.
After trading their closer Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins this past weekend, the team must decide who will fill that role as the ball club readies itself for the stretch run and the end of the 2019 season.
As of writing this story, Miami is 40-63 and has the third-worst record in all of Major League Baseball.
With Romo gone, who signed a one-year deal with the team over the offseason, who wins the closer’s role for the end of the season and beyond? That might be where Trevor Richards fits in. The starter who was moved to the bullpen last week could get the call.
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"“Trevor is a guy we’ve thought could be a reliever,” Mattingly said. “We don’t necessarily want to throw him right into the ninth, but if we have to, we would. Or the eighth or the seventh.”"
There are starters who have moved to the bullpen and found success. There are Hall of Fame pitchers who started their careers in the rotation and became dominant at their craft. Dennis Eckersley was one of the best closers of all-time. John Smoltz was as dominant on the mound at the start and end of games.
Richards, who owns a 3-12 record with a 4.58 ERA, will try to get himself back on track and could become the most valuable piece to the Marlins bullpen. Of course, there are others, as Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explains.
"“Right-hander Jeff Brigham was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to fill Romo’s roster spot on Sunday before Miami’s 5-1 win over Arizona,” Frisaro writes."
Given that the Marlins are also tinkering with the idea to trade other players, potentially pitchers on their roster, how the bullpen plays out is still up in the air. The MLB Trade Deadline is July 31. Miami will also look to trade veterans who will not be part of the team’s plan in 2020.
"“Miami remains open to trades, and veterans like Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson — who have expiring contracts after the season — are candidates to be dealt,” Frisaro adds. “So are relievers like Nick Anderson, Jarlin García and, even though he’s struggled, Adam Conley who have controllable service time.”"
Both Anderson and Garcia could also be considered as a closer. Tayron Guerrero is another possibility.