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What the signings of Tazawa and Ziegler mean for the Marlins bullpen

Brad Ziegler will significantly strengthen Miami’s bullpen.
Photo: Hector Gabino/Miami Herald

The Marlins have wanted to bolster their bullpen for the entire offseason, and while they struck out on top-tier closers like Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, that didn’t stop Miami from signing two relievers this week. The Marlins signed two relievers who pitched for the Boston Red Sox last season.

Miami was able to sign Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler, which will help strengthen a bullpen that Miami will rely on heavily next season. Tazawa was the first to sign with Miami on Thursday. Tazawa, 30, compiled an ERA of 4.17 with 54 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP. Ziegler, 37, went 4-7 with a 2.25 ERA and 22 saves with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox last season.

Ziegler, who throws submarine style, has a 2.44 ERA with 85 saves over his nine-year career. Even though Miami wanted Jansen, Chapman, and Mark Melancon, Miami was able to sign these two pitchers at a much cheaper price. Ziegler will be paid $16 million for two years, while Tazawa will be getting $12 million for two years.

Both of these pitchers are right-handers, which adds to a bullpen that is already full of right-handers. Miami’s bullpen includes right-handers A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, Kyle Barraclough, and Brian Ellington. Jose Urena is another pitcher that could be in the bullpen, even though he was a starter last season.

Miami’s only left-hander from last season, Mike Dunn, left the team to sign with the Colorado Rockies. Miami signed lefty Jeff Locke this month, and if he doesn’t make the starting rotation, he could be in the bullpen.

Miami has another lefty, Hunter Cervenka, who will have his chances to pitch in the bullpen. As for the closer spot, A.J. Ramos is expected to keep his role as closer. Miami’s bullpen blew 29 saves last season, but this bullpen is much deeper, which should help a depleted starting rotation.