Free agent right-hander Jumbo Diaz has signed a minor league contract with the Marlins, per a report from SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Diaz elected free agency from the Astros last November and had yet to find a landing place for the 2018 season. The club has not officially confirmed the signing.
Diaz, 33, was claimed off waivers by the Rays last March. He went 1-4 in 31 relief appearances and turned in a career-worst 5.70 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in 30 innings. In July, the righty signed a minor league deal with the Astros and found considerably more success with the club’s Triple-A affiliate, producing a 2.92 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 in 12 1/3 innings.
The deal presumably comes with an invitation to major league spring training, where Diaz will compete for a bullpen spot among the likes of fellow right-handers Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa, Drew Steckenrider, Nick Wittgren and Brian Ellington. According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins are considering an eight-man bullpen again in 2018 as they look to bolster a questionable rotation. They ranked 23rd among all major league bullpens in 2017 with a collective 4.40 ERA and 2.0 fWAR.