3:57 p.m. EDT update: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is reporting that the Marlins have held on to Nunez, Infante and everyone else.
It looks like the Marlins weren’t kidding: they’re telling suitors that closer Leo Nunez won’t be traded prior to the 4 p.m. EDT deadline, FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.
The Marlins are expected to largely take a pass on the deadline as they try to gear up for a run when their new stadium opens next year. Free-agent-to-be Omar Infante could be available, but the Marlins have resisted all inquiries on Nunez, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.
With a career 4.25 ERA and a 3.40 mark this year, Nunez is definitely a step down from the elite closers. He also projects as one of the Marlins’ most expensive players next year, as his salary should jump from $3.65 million to at least $6 million in his final year of arbitration. Still, the Marlins have decided to hold on, in part because they don’t feel they have anyone ready to replace him in the closer’s role. Edward Mujica would likely take over for the short-term if the Marlins change their minds.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.