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You gotta love the Marlins’ approach to finding new relievers

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The Marlins are showing that they can identify useful relievers without breaking the bank.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Marlins are not gifted with the biggest budget in baseball. They would never be confused with the Yankees, Dodgers or Angels, but at least for now, no one expects them to be. To this point, Miami has worked to be efficient in how they’ve gone about addressing their needs, particularly the bullpen.

The Marlins haven’t been in the running for top-tier arms (i.e. Liam Hendricks or Brad Hand), but that doesn’t mean they’ve done a bad job.

Recently, the team has committed to the likes of James Hoyt, Richard Bleier, Yimi García, Brandon Kintzler, Brad Boxberger and Nick Vincent, as well as the recent additions of Adam Cimber, Ross Detwiler and Anthony Bass for the 2021 season.

According to the Miami Herald, the team has shown interest in veteran lefty Chasen Shreve, who spent last season with the division rival New York Mets. While concerns surrounding his 4.5 BB/9 and 1.6 HR/9 rates are valid, Shreve is coming off a 2020 which saw him post a 12.2 K/9.

In general, this has been a respectable job from the front office. Why? Well, this Rays-like approach has brought great results for the Fish. Let’s take a look at the numbers posted by key relievers who helped earn last year’s postseason berth:

Top Marlins Relievers from 2020

Name IP ERA WHIP K/9 HR/9
Name IP ERA WHIP K/9 HR/9
Brandon Kintzler 24.1 2.22 1.32 5.2 1.1
Yimi García 15.0 0.60 0.93 11.4 0.0
James Hoyt 14.2 1.23 1.16 12.3 0.6
Brad Boxberger 18.0 3.00 1.39 9.0 1.5
Richard Bleier 13.2 2.63 1.24 4.6 0.0
Nick Vincent 22.1 4.43 1.30 6.9 2.0
TOTAL 108.0 2.50 1.24 7.9 1.0
FanGraphs

According to Spotrac, the Marlins committed $2,681,877 to these six pitchers in 2020, taking into account the pro-rated salaries for the shortened season. Could they have dreamed of a better outcome than this? I don’t think so!

  • Kintzler: $1,111,111
  • García: $407,407
  • Boxberger: $370,370
  • Vincent: $309,568
  • Bleier: $288,309
  • Hoyt: $195,112

Instead of being blinded by famous names, the Marlins keep spending wisely on men that can do their job, whose skill sets and pitching styles complement one another to help the team be more competitive. Will it work again in ‘21? We’re about to find out!