Should the Miami Marlins sign a former closer?

Zack Britton
Zack Britton / Elsa/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins recently added some relief pitching depth. Why not add even more depth? What about a relief pitcher who used to be a closer? How aboutt Zack Britton? He recently had a showcase for different teams and the New York Mets were in fact one of those teams. It seems that there must have been something wrong with him, because he is still unsigned, but could he be worth a minimum investment if possible? His price can only have lowered...

The Miami Marlins could look into adding more pitching depth.

Zack Britton debuted as a starting pitcher in 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles. He proved to be largely ineffective in that role, delivering a 4.77 ERA/4.20 FIP with 5.9 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 48 games and 254.2 innings pitched. It stands to be no surprise, that the team converted him into a relief pitcher, and almost imediately the team's new closer.

Pitching in relief from 2014 to 2017, Britton delivered a 1.61 ERA/2.55 FIP with 8.9 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 242 games and 246.1 innings pitched along with 135 saves. It was a phenomenal run that established Britton as an elite closer in the Major Leagues. It seemed that he was well on his way to continuing that elite status, as he split 2018 between Baltimore and the New York Yankees.
He ended up delivering a 3.10 ERA/4.22 FIP with 7.5 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 41 games and 40.2 innings pitched.

Zack Britton pitched for the New York Yankees from 2019-2022, delivering a 2.72 ERA/4.00 FIP with 7.8 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 111 games and 99.1 innings pitched. The walk rate jumped and his FIP showed that he was no longer an elite reliever. Another sign of the former was his alarming drop in fastball velocity. He had a 97.2 fastball velocity at his peak in 2016, but it fell all the way down to 92.2 in 2022. It's possible that he's done as an effective reliever, but I'm all about giving chances. If Zack Britton is willing to take a Minor League deal, The Fish should go for it.

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