After adding another starting pitcher, the Marlins expressed some interest in signing a left-handed reliever. And they did so in the best possible way.
Miami signed Craig Breslow to a minor league contract over the weekend. In adding another lefty to their bullpen, the Marlins did not have to lose prospects and did not have to spent any additional cash.
Although the Marlins' bullpen appears close to being set, with A.J. Ramos and Carter Capps set to compete for the closing job and Mike Dunn expected to serve as a setup man for one of the two.
The Marlins have not publicly expressed a desire to carry multiple lefty relievers. But in the National League East, it is something that almost certainly will be necessary.
While they were searching for another lefty, the Marlins reportedly did not want a specialist. Breslow does not fall into that category.
At 35, Breslow pitched to a 4.15 ERA and 5.27 FIP over 65.0 innings with the Red Sox last season. He had a disappointing 2015 campaign to say the least. This is exactly the type of signing the Marlins needed: low-risk, high-reward.
Though he has not shown it the last two seasons, Breslow can consistently be dominant and effective. In 2011 with the Athletics, he pitched to a 3.79 ERA and 3.58 FIP. The season prior, his ERA was 3.01. With two clubs in 2008, Breslow pitched to a 1.91 ERA and 2.96 FIP.
Left-handed hitters have batted .240 against Breslow throughout his career. Right-handers are batting .238. Breslow is not a specialist, and that should prove to make him much more valuable to Manager Don Mattingly.
Before he was traded to the Yankees, Aroldis Chapman was on the Marlins' radar. Breslow's fastball is not in the same range as Chapman's, but Breslow was also much more affordable.
There is a chance Breslow does not make the Marlins' 25-man roster, but at this point, it appears the spot is his to lose. The Marlins want and need another left-handed relief option. Now they have one.