UPDATE: According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said that he believes Leo Nunez will be the team’s closer next season.
“I think it’s going to be be Leo [Nunez], but we have to filter that out in spring training.”
Well, I doubt the Marlins would pay him $4 million just to be a set-up man. They have made some questionable moves this winter, but they can’t be that silly, right? If Nunez sticks, he’ll probably close. I could still see him getting traded, though.
1:20 PM: Sources tell Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that the Marlins are expected to tender a contract to Leo Nunez.
Nunez, 27, compiled a 3.46 ERA, 71/21 K/BB ratio and went 30-for-38 in save chances this past season. He was removed from the closer role after a nightmare month of August, where he posted an ugly 9.38 ERA and blew three saves.
Nunez made $2 million this season, so he could rake in close to $4 million in arbitration this winter. The Marlins could still consider trading him in order to clear some payroll, especially if they plan to sign another starting pitcher in free agency. Don’t be surprised if Ryan Webb, who was picked up in the Cameron Maybin deal last weekend, ends up closing games in Florida at some point next season.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.