Update -- There are multiple teams in pursuit of Steve Cishek, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Original -- A.J. Ramos has had success closing games and as a result the Marlins might be inclined to trade their former closer. Steve Cishek has been mentioned in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and according to Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald, the Cardinals have expressed interest in the right-handed reliever.
Latos and Haren aren't only #Marlins pitchers drawing trade interest. The Cardinals are looking at reliever Steve Cishek.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 22, 2015
Cishek, 29, opened the season as Miami's closer. He saved three contests but after struggling to throw strikes consistently lost the closing job to Ramos. Cishek has posted a 4.65 ERA and 3.45 FIP over 31.0 innings to this point in 2015. While his first half numbers are inflated, Cishek has had success in three outings following the All-Star break, tossing three scoreless innings.
When he first started pitching out of the Marlins' bullpen, Cishek had difficulty throwing strikes to left-handed hitters. Lefties are batting .281 over 14.0 innings against Cishek this season with right-handed batters hitting .300 over 17.0 innings. Although he has not had a notable amount of success this season, if Cishek pitches as well as he did in 2014 throughout the second half, he will likely become more valuable. Over 65.1 innings with Miami last season, Cishek posted a 3.17 ERA and saved 39 contests. Left-handed batters hit .209 against him and right-handed batters hit .254.
Miami is expected to consider deal the veterans on the roster, with Martin Prado, Dan Haren, Mat Latos, and Michael Morse all drawing interest. But Cishek is a relatively affordable closing option that might make a solid Cardinals bullpen even better.
Since the Marlins have Ramos closing games, dealing Cishek could become realistic. Ramos has posted a 1.51 ERA and 2.05 FIP over 41.2 innings and has proven he can close consistently. Several clubs, including the Blue Jays, are in pursuit of late inning relief help and it might not take much to acquire Cishek. Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Papebon, Francisco Rodriguez, and Craig Kimbrel are all known to be available. However, Cishek is still under club control and could end up being the most cost effective option available.
If the deal is not right, the Marlins likely will not trade Cishek since he could be a valuable seventh or eighth inning arm moving forward. But if the Cardinals or other clubs seeking relief help make a notable offer, Cishek might be moved before the end of next week.