If the Marlins want to be competitive this season and play deep into October, getting a proven closer should be among their top priorities once the MLB lockout ends.
As things currently stand, Dylan Floro is expected to fill that role. He served as Miami’s closer during the final two months of the 2021 season (after Yimi García was moved at the trade deadline).
However, Floro’s resumé is both short and flawed. He shouldn’t be treated as a closer because, well, he isn’t one.
Consider the following shocking splits from last year:
Floro in non-save situations: 5-2, 0.74 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 2.97 BB/9
Floro in save situations: 1-4, 5.53 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 4.23 BB/9
While Floro could be an outstanding setup man, that doesn’t necessarily mean he can have the same success in the ninth inning. In 2021, he pitched effectively in low-leverage (.450 OPS against) and medium-leverage situations (.539 OPS), as defined by Baseball-Reference. It was a different story under high-leverage conditions (.658 OPS), where he showed less control and allowed more hard contact.
The only member of the Marlins pitching staff as of today who has as much closing experience as Floro is Anthony Bass (15 career saves). No need to explain why returning him to that job would be a bad idea.
The biggest name available on the free agent market is Kenley jansen. Trevor Rosenthal, Alex Colomé, Greg Holland, Sergio Romo, Hansel Robles, and former Marlin Brad Hand are others for the Marlins to consider who could be pretty affordable. There is a wider universe of closer options when including trade targets, with the Brewers’ Josh Hader and White Sox’s Craig Kimbrel reportedly attainable for the right compensation.
The Marlins do not want a repeat of last season, cycling through several arms in the closer’s role and failing to preserve late leads. That’s why the team underperformed its run differential overall and never sustained long winning streaks.
Bringing in someone who makes them feel secure and represents a notable upgrade will be costly, either in terms of salary or prospect capital. Fortunately, the Marlins have the right payroll flexibility and young pieces to acquire whoever they want. Time will tell if Kim Ng is willing to pull the trigger.