Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Cardinals have traded for Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek, who’s been working as a setup man after being demoted from the closer role.
As a side-armer with modest velocity Cishek is far from a prototypical closer, but he did a fine job in the role with 34 saves in 2013 and 39 saves last season. However, when he struggled early on this year the Marlins sent him to the minors and then brought him back up as a setup man.
Since rejoining the bullpen in mid-June he’s thrown 12.2 innings with a 0.71 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio while holding opponents to a .239 batting average, so Cishek should be a nice fit working the seventh or eighth inning in front of All-Star closer Trevor Rosenthal in St. Louis. He has a 2.86 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 290 innings, allowing a total of just 12 homers.
In exchange for Cishek the Marlins get Double-A reliever Kyle Barraclough, a 2012 seventh-round draft pick with good strikeout rates and very bad control. St. Louis takes on the $3 million or so remaining on Cishek’s contract for this season and he’s also under team control via arbitration for 2016, although the high salary makes him a non-tender candidate.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.