Jon Rauch passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week and the Marlins released the veteran reliever two months into a one-year, $1 million contract.
Rauch was terrible for Miami, allowing 14 runs in 16.2 innings, but he had a 3.59 ERA with good secondary numbers for the Mets last season and a combined 3.75 ERA from 2009-2012. Despite being 6-foot-10 and looking the part of an overpowering reliever Rauch’s raw stuff hasn’t been late-inning caliber for a while now and at age 34 he might simply be done, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get another look somewhere as a middle reliever.
Miami’s bullpen ranks 10th in the NL with a 4.07 ERA.
Two guys who spent some time in the bigs but who have found more success in Asia have decided to stay in Asia.
Darin Ruf has re-signed with the Samsung Lions of KBO, per MLB Trade Rumors. Ruf, who played five years for the Phillies but didn’t really have the numbers to stick, has stuck just fine in Korea. In two seasons in the offense-friendly league he has hit 64 homers and has put up a line of .322/.412/.587. His new deal with Samsung will pay him a guaranteed $1.4 million with $300K in potential bonuses.
The other guy — Nick Martinez — has signed a $2.5 million plus incentives deal to stay with the Nippon Ham Fighters of NPB. The former Rangers starter went 10-11 with a 3.51 ERA for the Fighters in 2018. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in four seasons with Texas.
Maybe Ruf and Martinez still have U.S. major league dreams, but guaranteed bucks in the Korean and Japanese majors is better than signing minor league deals and riding busses here.