Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler likely to be traded by deadline

While the trade rumors will swirl around the Miami Marlins throughout the month of July, it isn’t likely that any of the teams young rising stars will be delt out of town.

It’s a different story when it comes to rentals like veteran reliever Brad Ziegler.

“I think that’s why this trade deadline is a little different for us because your rentals are guys you’re open to talking about,” said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations. “But the majority of our guys, we have control over.”

Ziegler is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed going into last season. He started off slow and lost his closer role to Kyle Barraclough. Since then he has a scoreless streak of 10 innings over 11 games.

Hill has confirmed getting calls about Ziegler and also praised manager Don Mattingly for putting the reliever in the right position to succeed since the demotion. There are plenty of playoff contenders, like the Boston Red Sox, who are in need for extra bullpen help.

“We’ve talked to some clubs who fit that mold, guys looking for that right-handed specialist, clubs looking to neutralize those big right-handed bats,” Hill said.

One thing that comes with a rebuilding team is having a vast majority of the roster filled with players under team control. The Marlins’ lone All-Star, catcher JT Realmuto, won’t be eligible to become a free agent until 2021. Barraclough has to wait until 2022. The trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought in Pablo Lopez and other pitching prospects was for a reliever with multiple years of team control .

“In Straily, you’ve got a controllable starting pitcher for the next 2 1/2 years,” Hill said. “The same with Realmuto. The same with Bour. Same with Rojas. All those guys, you have ultimate control on those guys, so it’s not something where you have to do anything.”

The rumors swirling around them only exist because despite the high asking price, Hill will call other general managers anyway to see if there is a possible offer for such players that, as he said, “makes incredible sense” to the organization.

“If I’m trying to acquire (players of comparative value and experience), I know it’s going to be costly,” Hill said. “My counterparts understand that these guys are completely controllable players. It’s not something where you have to do anything with them.”

If anything happens, it’s likely that Ziegler is the one guy the Marlins trade for prospects to further improve the pipeline.


About: Tony Capobianco


Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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