Cardinals “looking at” former Marlins closer Steve Cishek

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Mat Latos and Dan Haren are drawing most of the discussion on the Marlins’ trade block, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald notes that right-handed reliever Steve Cishek could also be on the move ahead of the July 31 deadline. And the National League Central-leading Cardinals are interested.

Cishek owns a rough-looking 4.65 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 31 total innings this season and he was stripped of closer duties in May, but the 29-year-old has registered a promising 0.77 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 frames since returning June 12 from a short demotion to Double-A Jacksonville.

Cishek, who saved 39 games for the Marlins in 2014 and 34 in 2013, is making $6.65 million this year in his second turn through salary arbitration. He carries two more seasons of arbitration eligibility.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.