The Marlins are reportedly close to trading reliever Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Craig Mish of SiriusXM was the first to report that Ziegler was close to being traded, Ken Rosenthal was the first to link him to the Dbacks.
Ziegler, 38, started slow this season, but he’s been great for the past month or two, posting an ERA of 1.15 in June and 0.68 in July. On the season as a whole he’s 1-5 with a 3.98 ERA in a league-leading 53 games. He is due to become a free agent this winter. He, of course, played for Arizona from 2011 into the 2016 season.
UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Dbacks are sending Double-A reliever Tommy Eveld to the Marlins.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.