Rafael Soriano is the last of the unsigned prominent free agents, but that may be changing.
On the heels of Miami removing the struggling Steve Cishek from the closer role, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins have “expressed interest” in Soriano and “there has been some dialogue between the team and agent Scott Boras.”
However, according to Frisaro the 35-year-old right-hander’s asking price remains high and “Soriano isn’t the only alternative as the Marlins frantically try to figure out what to do about locking down the final outs of games.”
Soriano has plenty of closing experience, including saving 32 games with a 3.19 ERA for the Nationals last season, but he lost the job in the second half and posted a 7.29 ERA in his final 23 appearances.
Steve Cishek’s run as the Marlins’ closer is over–or at the very least, on hold–after back-to-back ugly blown saves Sunday and Monday.
Cishek has blown four saves and converted three saves this season while posting a 10.32 ERA in 13 appearances, and manager Mike Redmond has seen enough to start mixing in other options for the ninth inning:
Shrek [Cishek] has done a tremendous job for us, but at the end of the day, it’s about winning games. It’s tough to win in the big leagues, and when you get late leads, you’ve got to be able to lock them down.
For now Redmond said he plans to “mix and match” in the ninth inning, which likely means some combination of A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, and Mike Dunn.
There’s no getting around how awful Cishek has been this season, but he converted 39 of 43 save chances last season and came into this year with a career ERA of 2.98 in 269 innings.
UPDATE: Miami has “expressed interest” in veteran closer Rafael Soriano.
Nationals reliever Craig Stammen has been diagnosed with a torn flexor tendon and will undergo surgery that’s expected to end his season.
Stammen was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with what the Nationals called forearm tightness. While not a big name, Stammen has logged 70-plus innings in each of the past three seasons and has a 2.80 ERA since shifting to the bullpen full time.
As for possible bullpen help … Rafael Soriano is still available as a free agent, but there’s been zero indication that the Nationals are open to bringing their former closer back even in a setup role.
MLB just announced that Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol.
Interestingly, Mejia is the fourth player to be suspended for Stanozolol since late in spring training, joining David Rollins, Arodys Vizcaino, and Ervin Santana. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier this week due to right elbow inflammation and can serve the suspension while he’s sidelined.
Here are statements from the Mets and Mejia, via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:
Jeurys Familia is currently filling in at closer for New York, but Bobby Parnell is working his way back from Tommy John surgery and could get his old job back if he proves his health and effectiveness. Still, this is a tough blow for a team who has their eyes on contention. Per the updated PED policy, Mejia would not be able to play in the postseason if the Mets qualify. It will be interesting to see if the Mets consider signing free agent reliever Rafael Soriano. He’d be a nice fit.
Mejia, 25, posted a 3.65 ERA with 28 saves and a 98/41 K/BB ratio in 93 2/3 innings last season.