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Marlins claim RHP Justin Shafer from Reds

The Marlins are scrambling to plug roster holes with nearly a dozen of their players testing positive for COVID-19 in recent days.

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Quite frankly, I did not know who Justin Shafer was when I woke up this morning. But hopefully, the Marlins have more familiarity with him, because they claimed the right-hander from the Reds on Monday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. He will move into one of the many roster spots vacated by the raging COVID-19 outbreak.

Shafer, who turns 28 in September, was drafted and developed by the Blue Jays. In parts of two major league seasons (2018-2019), he has posted a 3.75 ERA, 5.52 FIP and -0.3 fWAR in 48.0 IP. They designated him for assignment after the 2019 campaign and traded him to the Reds, who employed him through spring training and summer camp but DFA’d him last Friday.

Shafer has been used exclusively in relief—all MLB and MiLB appearances—since the start of 2017.

It’s unclear where exactly the University of Florida product fits in the Marlins’ bullpen hierarchy. As of this writing, the only member of the club’s pitching staff who has been identified as positive for COVID-19 is José Ureña.

That leaves these other recently DFA’d players remaining on the waiver wire:

  • INF Arquimedes Gamboa (Phillies)
  • RHP Daniel Gossett (Athletics)
  • RHP Mike Morin (Brewers)
  • OF José Siri (Giants)
  • LHP Josh D. Smith (Reds)
  • INF Kean Wong (Giants)

Aside from mining that talent pool, the Marlins will presumably make contact with free agents who have MLB experience. Outfielder Travis Snider, for example, was inked Friday to a minor league deal.