The Marlins sent David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners today, but they probably aren’t done dealing relievers.
A number of teams are showing strong interest in Marlins closer AJ Ramos, according to multiple sources.
#Marlins are fielding a bunch of calls on A.J. Ramos and pen pieces after Phelps deal with #Mariners. Not close on anything else yet.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2017
One of those teams is the Tampa Bay Rays, who are still looking for bullpen help at the deadline. At 51-45, the Rays sit just three games back of the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East and currently hold the top Wild Card spot in the American League.
rays are among teams showing interest in aj ramos #marlins— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 20, 2017
Tampa Bay’s 4.37 bullpen ERA ranks 21st in baseball and their usual bullpen pieces have not been as strong. Closer Alex Colome’s strikeout rate is way down (11.28 to 8.04 K/9) from 2016, and Tommy Hunter (gulp) has statistically been the Rays’ best reliever.
If he did go to Tampa, Ramos (11.46 K/9, 1.30 WHIP) would most likely take over the set-up role. However, at least two other teams have shown interest in Ramos, according USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
The #Marlins had 10 teams expressing interest on David Phelps and have 3 teams in on closer AJ Ramos, who will command higher return.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 20, 2017
As Nightengale noted, Ramos could bring an even bigger return than Phelps, who sent two of Seattle’s top-20 prospects to Miami. The 30-year-old Ramos is under team control through the 2018 season and has shown the ability to pitch in multiple different bullpen roles.