Mariners Rumors: Seattle Interested in Brad Ziegler
By Ty Gonzalez
The Mariners are doing some digging to supplement their bullpen and they may have set their sights on a crafty veteran.
Per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the Mariners have touched base with the Miami Marlins on 38-year-old reliever Brad Ziegler‘s availability. Ziegler, a submarine side-armer known for his time with Oakland and Arizona, got off to a rough start in 2018 but has been much better over the last two months.
As Crasnick notes, Ziegler has only allowed three earned runs in his last 26.1 (now 27.1) innings of work. But considering that his ERA (0.99) is pretty far off from his xFIP (3.38) during that time, a bit of his success should likely be chalked up to luck.
Over that time, Ziegler has the sixth most logged innings of relief in the MLB, which could indicate that his success may be sustainable. Only Oakland’s Lou Trivino has pitched similarly well with an identical workload.
Ziegler is also currently the best groundball-inducing reliever in the MLB, at a 74.2% clip. However, he’s allowed seven home runs this year so when hitters do get the ball in the air on him, it’s often over the fence. In fact, Ziegler is tied with Cleveland’s Dan Otero for the highest HR/FB rate at 33.3%.
So what could Ziegler cost? Probably not a whole lot, really. Ziegler is in the final year of a two-year, $16 million deal that still has roughly $4 million remaining. Along with his age, the money and lack of club control significantly brings the price down.
It’s possible the Mariners could snag him for international bonus pool money or a lower tier prospect. Someone along the likes of a Chuck Taylor or Anthony Misiewicz could make sense.
All-in-all, Ziegler is cost-effective and would help the Mariners accomplish their goal of adding impact to their bullpen. Situational relief has been a weak spot for the M’s all season long, so a veteran such as Ziegler could be critical in stabilizing the road to Edwin Diaz.