Before the Marlins acquired Fernando Rodney from the Padres, they expressed interest in Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo.
Source: Marlins heavily pursued Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress before acquiring Fernando Rodney. Jeffress is very much available.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 11, 2016
Jeffress was likely an intriguing option because he is a more controllable piece than Rodney. While Rodney’s contract includes a club option for next season, Jeffress isn’t arbitration eligible until next season and won’t be a free agent until 2020.
The Brewers could be in a position to sell, and Jeffress is likely a name that will draw a lot of interest.
Over 38.1 innings, Jeffress has pitched to a 2.35 ERA and 3.41 FIP with 23 saves. He’s having success after watching his ERA increase nearly a full point last season.
Miami was forced to part with Single-A starter Chris Paddack, who was viewed by some as one of the more promising pitching prospects in the Marlins’ minor league system, in the Rodney deal. In a deal for Jeffress, according to MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, the Brewers wanted Paddack and another two prospects.
The high cost of bullpen help:Miami gave Chris Paddack for Fernando Rodney. The price tag on Jeremy Jeffress was Paddack, 2 more prospects— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 11, 2016
Rodney is 39, so the Padres were likely not in a position to request that many prospects despite his early success this season.
Without knowing it, the Marlins might have set the standard with regard to the trade market for relievers. There aren’t many relief options for teams seeking to upgrade their bullpens and it clearly will take several prospects to add a controllable reliever.
The market might have the biggest impact on the Cubs, who are seemingly a top reliever away from winning the division easily. Andrew Miller, who is controllable, is an option, though it might take three or four prospects to lure him away from the Yankees.
Miami’s focus will now be on starting pitching, but the club might consider internal options before making a trade. It seems the asking price for pitching is only going to increase this summer, and the Marlins don’t have many prospects to part with.