The Miami Marlins continue to look at former Boston Red Sox relievers to strengthen their bullpen. After signing Junichi Tazawa to a two-year deal on Thursday, the Marlins added right-handed side-arm pitcher Brad Ziegler on a two-year, $16 million contract. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first to report the signing. The contract contains performance incentives, and will be completed after Ziegler passes his physical.
Source: Brad Ziegler in agreement with #Marlins, two years, $16M plus incentives, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 17, 2016
Miami Marlins add Brad Ziegler
The 37-year-old veteran has been one of the most underrated relievers in the league since coming up with the Oakland A’s in 2008. Since then, he’s recorded a lifetime 2.44 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP, 403 strikeouts, and 85 saves. He’s also served time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with whom he spent the majority of his career this far.
Ziegler tied a personal single-season high in strikeouts in 2014, when he fanned 54 batters. That matched his total from 2009, his second year in the league. However, the best single year of his career came in 2015, when he saved 30 games while notching a 1.85 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts.
Last season, Ziegler got off to a hot start for the Diamondbacks in the first half. He pitched to a 2.82 ERA and 18 saves before the trade deadline. After the Red Sox added him to bolster their ‘pen and back up closer Craig Kimbrel, Ziegler got even better. In 29.2 innings for Boston, he put up a 1.52 ERA and 31 strikeouts. For the season, he finished with a 2.25 ERA between the two teams and set a new career-high in strikeouts, with 58.
The Marlins are getting some good pitchers to support closer A.J. Ramos. Tazawa isn’t quite what he was a few years ago, but he’s still a solid 7th inning guy. Ziegler seems to be getting better with age, and should serve as Miami’s new setup man. If Ramos struggles or gets injured, Ziegler can step in and fill the hole. Miami was on the verge of contending last season. Ziegler won’t get them over the hump, but he’s a step in the right direction.