Mid-afternoon yesterday, the Marlins significantly upgraded their outfield with the acquisition of Corey Dickerson.
Over the course of this month, the Marlins have also gotten infielder Jonathan Villar, first baseman Jesus Aguilar, reliever Yimi Garcia, outfielder Matt Kemp, and catcher Francisco Cervelli to agree to deals.
Even with all of that possible offensive improvement, there are still significant areas of weakness pervading Miami’s roster. The bullpen is one such area, but there remain available options to improve Miami’s it through free agency.
The Marlins 40-man roster currently has 11 relievers who could begin the season in the major league bullpen. Austin Brice, Jeff Brigham, Adam Conley, Jarlin Garcia, Yimi Garcia, Brian Moran, Jose Quijada, Sterling Sharp, Ryne Stanek, Drew Steckenrider, and Jose Urena are all currently on the team, but there only figures to be eight or maybe nine slots to fill come Opening Day on the expanded 26-man roster.
By the numbers, there are currently eight relief pitchers who finished with a major league WAR equal to or greater than 1.0 through the 2019 season and who are now available through free agency. Here’s seven of them.
Right-hander Will Harris is an eight-year veteran coming off of his best professional season, going by his 2.1 WAR. Now 34-years-old, Harris put up a 0.933 WHIP for the Houston Astros in 2019, with 62 strikeouts in 60 innings. Although never considered a primary closer throughout his career, he has collected a total of 20 in 419 career appearances.
Over Harris’ last five seasons, all with the Astros, he hasn’t had a WHIP larger than 1.074 in any of them. 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA last season, Harris finished with an ERA+ of 309.
10-season major league veteran Steve Cishek played his first five-and-a-half big-league seasons with the Marlins. He’s 17-20 with a franchise-third 94 saves for the Fish, along with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.222 WHIP.
In mid-2015, the Marlins traded Cishek to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kyle Barraclough. Cishek has since also played for the Seattle Mariners, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Chicago Cubs.
Since departing Miami, Cishek has arguably only gotten better. Over his past four full seasons, he’s put up a 1.049 WHIP over 243 innings, with 252 strikeouts, a 2.52 ERA, and a 14-17 record.
Now 33-years-old, the six-foot-six Cishek has totaled 4.1 WAR over the past two seasons, the best two-year span of his career so far.
Sam Dyson‘s eight-season major league career began in 2012 with the Toronto Blue Jays. A fourth-round pick of the Jays in 2010, they waived him after he allowed three earned runs over 2/3 of an inning with the team.
The Marlins gladly picked Dyson up, and over parts of three seasons, he was 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA over 80 appearances, with 79 strikeouts in 97 innings. At the 2015 trade deadline, the Marlins sent him to the Texas Rangers for Cody Ege and Tomas Telis.
Since then, Dyson has also played for the San Francisco Giants and the Minnesota Twins. Now 31-years-old, Dyson has gone 16-16 with 57 saves, a 1.261 WHIP, and a 3.49 ERA in the last four years with 200 whiffs in 257 2/3 innings.