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 Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.