Barry Jackson

Marlins, veteran closer Ziegler agree to two-year deal

The Marlins continued to bolster their bullpen on Friday night by agreeing to terms with veteran closer Brad Ziegler on a two-year, $16 million contract.
The Marlins continued to bolster their bullpen on Friday night by agreeing to terms with veteran closer Brad Ziegler on a two-year, $16 million contract. el Nuevo Herald

The Marlins continued to bolster their bullpen on Friday night by agreeing to terms with veteran closer Brad Ziegler on a two-year, $16 million contract.

The deal, confirmed by a source and first reported by Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, calls for a salary of $7 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018, according to someone directly involved.

Ziegler, 37, was 4-7 with a 2.25 ERA and 22 saves for Arizona and Boston last season. He had 18 of those 22 saves with the Diamondbacks before being traded to the Red Sox in July.

Ziegler, who throws with a submarine arm slot, has 85 saves, a 34-28 record and a 2.44 ERA in a nine-year career including stints with Oakland, Arizona and the Red Sox.

Though the Marlins failed to land high-priced closers Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman and lost left-hander Mike Dunn to Colorado, they augmented their bullpen the past two days with Junichi Tazawa and Ziegler.

The Marlins’ bullpen now will include right-handers AJ Ramos, Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps, Ziegler and Tazawa and likely two among right-handers Brian Ellington and Jose Urena (who’s out of minor-league options) and an undetermined left-hander.

Lefty Jeff Locke, who pitched out of the bullpen for Pittsburgh during parts of last season, likely would move to the bullpen if he’s beaten out for a rotation spot, though the Marlins envision him as a starter.

It’s unclear whether Ziegler will be given an opportunity to compete with Ramos for the closer’s job.

“The goal is always to try to put together the deepest bullpen we can, and a bullpen with different looks and different ways to get people out,” Marlins executive Michael Hill said earlier Friday before Ziegler accepted the Marlins’ offer. “I’m very excited with how our bullpen looks. We wanted to create as much depth and talent and versatility and give [manager] Donnie [Mattingly] as many options as possible to potentially shorten the game.”

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