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.

Report: A’s trying to finish deal for Jeurys Familia

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The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.

Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.

While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.