Another starting pitcher is off the market. According to multiple reports, veteran lefty Jeff Locke has signed a deal to join the Miami Marlins for the 2017 season. The agreement is for one year, and will pay Locke about $3 million. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first to break the news.
Sources: #Marlins in agreement with free-agent LHP Jeff Locke, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 7, 2016
Locke deal is for 1 year about $3M #marlins
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2016
Marlins add Jeff Locke to Rotation
Locke, 29, came up with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. While his career 4.41 ERA is uninspiring, he did have some good years with the Buccos. In 2013, his first year as a full-time member of the rotation, he won 10 games and recorded a 3.52 ERA, both career-best marks. He also had a solid campaign the next season, though injuries limited him to just 21 starts and prevented him from matching or bettering his win total from the previous year.
Locke’s performance began to drop off in 2015, when he finished with a 4.49 ERA, and cratered last season. His 5.44 ERA and 1.53 WHIP both represent the worst such numbers of his career over a full season. Things got so bad for Locke last season that he was, for a time, moved to the bullpen. He did appear in 30 games, but only 19 of those were starts. The Marlins will have to hope the change of scenery can help him recover his form from 2013 and 2014.
Locke joins fellow former Pirate Edinson Volquez in the Marlins rotation. He will also pitch alongside Adam Conley, Wei-Yin Chen, and Tom Koehler. The Marlins have been reeling and searching for answers since the tragic death of ace Jose Fernandez in September. While Locke will not even come close to replacing the talent of Fernandez, he does, at the very least, provide some stability and help fill out the rotation.