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.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.
The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.
Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.
This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.