Marlins closer Leo Nunez has been the subject of numerous trade rumors as the team contemplates cashing in a good but not great reliever whose value is inflated by his save total.
If they do end up moving Nunez before the July 31 trade deadline manager Jack McKeon told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that Edward Mujica would take over as the new closer.
Mujica, who was acquired from San Diego in November as part of the Cameron Maybin trade, has a 2.85 ERA and 35/5 K/BB ratio in 47 innings for the Marlins after posting a 3.80 ERA and 148/25 K/BB ratio in 163 innings for the Padres.
In three seasons as a closer Nunez has a 3.63 ERA while converting 82 percent of his save chances, which is basically right around the MLB average for ninth-inning save opportunities. Getting a solid prospect or two for him, handing Mujica the gig, and then perhaps dealing Mujica for a solid prospect or two in a couple years would make all kinds of sense for the Marlins.
Create closers out of quality setup man, extract value, repeat.
Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston
David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.
Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.
In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.
Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.
The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:
“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”
As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.
It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.