The run on high-priced free agent closers rolls on.
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Marlins have reached agreement on a three-year, $27 million contract with veteran righty Heath Bell.
His contract also includes a vesting option for 2015.
Bell has managed a 2.36 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over the past three seasons in San Diego and is likely to do a fine job at the back end of the Miami bullpen over the duration of his new three-year deal, but $9 million annually is a steep price for a team with many other holes that need patching.
Then again, the Marlins probably aren’t done spending.
The deal will be finalized after Bell takes a pre-signing physical Friday in Miami. Juan Carlos Oviedo (er, Leo Nunez) is likely to be non-tendered this winter. He’s still working on re-entering the United States.
UPDATE, 11:59 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the vesting option for 2015 is worth $9 million.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: