Shortly after their extra-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, the Miami Marlins announced the signing of free agent Archie Bradley to a minor league deal.
That name should sound familiar to most of you. The 30-year-old Bradley is a veteran of eight big league seasons, all but one of those with National League teams. In 17 career games pitched against Miami, he has posted a 4.71 earned run average in 21 innings of action.
Injuries wiped out the second half of Bradley’s 2022 campaign. He fractured his right elbow in embarrassing fashion: he slipped while trying to hop over the Los Angeles Angels dugout railing during a bench-clearing brawl. His late-season comeback attempt was ruined by a forearm strain.
As a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the early portion of his MLB career, Bradley was a conventional power pitcher. However, he has gradually de-emphasized his four-seam fastball in favor of his sinker. His current pitching profile vaguely resembles Dylan Floro’s, with a groundball rate of approximately 57% since leaving Arizona.
If Bradley makes it up to Miami this season, he’ll be greeted by several familiar faces. The former D-backs first-round draft pick crossed paths with Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and Wellington Cepeda during his prospect days. Stottlemyre and Cepeda are now the Marlins pitching coach and bullpen coach, respectively. Bradley played alongside Jean Segura in both 2016 (Arizona) and 2021 (Philadelphia).
The Marlins don’t exactly have a pressing need for relief reinforcements. The bullpen excelled during Wednesday’s win and solid left-hander Steven Okert is on the verge of reclaiming his active roster spot. But the organization lost a bit of depth this week when the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed Eli Villalobos off of waivers. Bradley will presumably have to perform well for Triple-A Jacksonville for a substantial period of time before being considered for a call-up, anyway.
Also, remember when the Marlins announced a deal with right-hander Richard Rodriguez in Spring Training? He still hasn’t joined Jacksonville’s roster, so maybe the Bradley addition is simply about addressing the role that they originally expected Rodriguez to fill.
Bradley made a salary of $3.75 million last season. It’s not yet known how much he’ll make in 2023 if selected to the majors.