After the Marlins signed new closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract, many assumed that they would non-tender Juan Carlos Oviedo before the December 12 deadline. That’s not the case, apparently.
Aside from amusingly referring to Oviedo as “the closer formerly known as Leo Nunez,” Marlins president Larry Beinfest said this afternoon (via Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com) that they still plan to tender him a contract. Oviedo is currently working through legal issues in the Dominican Republic after admitting in September to faking his identity.
Oviedo figures to make $5-6 million as a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Marlins to keep him around as an overpriced set-up man. The most likely scenario is that they’ll attempt to see if there are any takers before next week’s non-tender deadline. And given his complicated legal status and the number of free agent closer-types available, that’s probably a longshot.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.
Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.
The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).