Peter Gammons: Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek could be quietly dealt

Rick Yeatts

Peter Gammons reported last week that Steve Cishek is a sleeper candidate to be involved in a trade before the end of July. But would the Miami Marlins be willing to trade their efficient closer?

Ken Rosenthal is among those who to this point have reported the Miami Marlins, should they remain in contention, are likely to become buyers come the trading deadline. Miami is thought to be in the market for a starting pitcher or bullpen arm.  But last week, Peter Gammons compiled a list of players who he feels could be under the radar candidates to be traded come July, and Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek made the cut.

Cishek has been consistent at the back of the Marlins' bullpen, having successfully converted 15  of 16 save opportunities while posting a 2.20 ERA to complement a 1.90 FIP.

Bambi is a huge part of the Marlins’ improvement, 15-for-16 in saves, a 2.36 earned run average, throws strikes, reliable person. But if Miami falls back in July, he could be a big chip for one of the many teams—like the Tigers—who have struggled at the end of games. He’s the Marlins third highest-paid player at $3.8M, and arbitration is going to drive that way up. The Marlins have been trying to assemble backend arms, and right now have closer possibilities in Bryan Morris and Anthony DeSclafani—if not Nathan Eovaldi—and could get some young infield offensive help in return.

With the Marlins a game out of first place heading into Monday night's contest, it isn't likely that the Marlins will trade Cishek in the near future. It would take a complete collapse for Miami to trade their most consistent bullpen arm.

Miami signed Kevin Gregg and acquired Bryan Morris to complement A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn in the bullpen, but the team's struggles have been getting the ball to Cishek with a lead.

Financially speaking, the Marlins shouldn't be concerned with the $3.8 million Cishek is making. Cishek is still on the younger side, and is not being paid like Jonathan Papelbon.

Should the Marlins fail to remain competitive, it would be interesting to see what the return would be. Miami, despite the players Gammons named, doesn't have an ideal candidate to move into the closer role upon a possible Cishek trade.  Gregg has experience as a closer but is only signed through this season.

Arquimedes Caminero, thought to have "closer-type stuff", has had difficulty throwing strikes, and Bryan Morris is more of a setup man. While he has experience coming out of the bullpen, Anthony DeSclafani was recalled Monday afternoon and slotted into the rotation, and Nathan Eovaldi's future as a Marlin is likely almost exclusively as a starter.

Given the Marlins' current position in the National League East, Cishek probably won't be moved anytime soon. But if Miami is no longer a "buyer," it may become a possibility.

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