clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who will close now that AJ Ramos has been traded?

New, 1 comment

There are more candidates than you may think.

Now that AJ Ramos is gone, the Marlins will have a new closer.
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Before being traded to the Mets, AJ Ramos was the Marlins main closer for a couple of years, having inherited the job from Steve Cishek and briefly enduring a timeshare with Fernando Rodney. Now that he's gone as well, the Marlins have a vacancy at the the closer position once again, and it'll be tough to replace Ramos.

Since 2015, Ramos has 92 saves, and he was an All-Star last season. Last year, he had an ERA under 3.00 for the third straight season. The Marlins already traded reliever David Phelps to Seattle, removing a top candidate to replace Ramos from the running.

Brad Ziegler seems like a viable option to replace Ramos, but he has been on the DL since late June. Ziegler has been activated, and he'll likely get the first shot to close once he can prove that he's fully healthy.

Ziegler has recorded 85 saves in his career, and he has a career ERA of 2.63. Ziegler hasn't been successful this year, as his ERA is up to 6.52, but the veteran will likely be tabbed as the next closer for the Marlins. If Ziegler isn't chosen, another potential option is Junichi Tazawa.

Although it wasn't a save situation, Tazawa closed out Friday's game, and he's been the setup man ever since he returned from the DL. Tazawa only has 4 saves in his career, but he also has 82 holds.

Tazawa has posted a 5.28 ERA this season, however, he's had a resurgence in July. Tazawa has compiled an ERA of 2.13 this month, and he might just be successful as a closer for the Marlins.

Another potential option is veteran reliever Dustin McGowan, who picked up the win on Friday night.

McGowan has been solid this season, going 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. McGowan has never really been a closer, but he has enough experience to take the job for at least the rest of the season.

Yet another option is Kyle Barraclough, who has been a setup man for most of his major league career, but closed during his time in the minor leagues with St. Louis before coming over to Miami. He's currently on the DL, but once he comes back, he's certainly capable of being the closer.

Finally, Drew Steckenrider could be an intriguing option to be the closer in the future. Steckenrider has recorded 20 saves in 22 save opportunities during his career in the minors. He won't be the closer right now, but he can definitely be the closer in a few years.