Jake Peavy is just starting to throw again as he comes back from a fractured rib, so it’s a moot point for now, but the White Sox right-hander made it very clear yesterday that he doesn’t want to be traded.
Chicago is in last place at 32-43, so the White Sox shopping various veterans would make sense if things don’t turn around in a hurry, but here’s what Peavy told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago:
I’ll just tell you that I don’t want that to happen, that I want to pitch here in Chicago and I want games I pitch in to be meaningful and for us to get back in the thick of things. Do I think that can happen? Absolutely. But we have to shore things up, take it day by day and win. I do understand the possibility of being moved if I am healthy or I’m not healthy. And that’s something that I leave up to the hands of Rick Hahn and his staff and I will do all I’m asked really.
If he can show that he’s healthy by the July 31 deadline Peavy would look awfully nice in a lot of contending rotations, but his being signed for next season at $14.5 million also complicates things. Peavy got off to a fantastic start, throwing 61 innings with a 2.97 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio through late May, but then he turned in back-to-back rough outings and suffered the rib injury. He’s due back shortly after the All-Star break.
The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.
As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.
The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.
A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:
I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.
This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.
Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.
Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.
Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.