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.