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.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.