Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen is reportedly talking with the Miami Marlins about reliever A. J. Ramos
The Arizona Diamondbacks are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Miami Marlins closer A.J. Ramos.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Diamondbacks are one of several teams eyeing the right-hander.
The 30-year-old Ramos is currently seventh in the National League in saves. The flame thrower has converted 18 of his 20 save opportunities. A 3.96 ERA in 37 appearances is high for a closer. But, when you consider current closer Fernando Rodney sports a 5.23 ERA, Ramos’ mark would seem like a major upgrade.
To this point, the 40-year Rodney has given the Diamondbacks everything except consistent performances. Granted, Rodney did not give up a run in May or June. Outside of a scoreless inning Friday against the Washington Nationals, Rodney has looked more like his April self in July. After finishing 2016 with an ERA over five, the Diamondbacks should have concerns about the ninth inning.
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If the Diamondbacks acquire Ramos, he has a proven track record. Last season, he saved 40 games with a 2.81 ERA in 67 appearances. In terms of splits, Ramos has handled both lefties (.194) and righties (.212) well.
While Ramos has six pitches, he has primarily relied on his four-seam fastball and slider. The righty will mix in a changeup, sinker and cutter and will occasionally throw a curveball.
After acquiring outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers, general manager Mike Hazen appears ready to keep adding.
On June 20, Hazen told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adding to the bullpen is a priority.
"I think if you would poll every contender, every one of them would probably say bullpen. I think there are reasons for that. One, you have seven spots out there. And, two, you typically have a lot of ups and downs as you go through the season. That’s just something we’ll probably be looking at."
Adding an extra starter is not out of the question either. In his Inside Baseball NL notes column, Heyman mentioned one possible fit.
"After acquiring J.D. Martinez, they are looking to upgrade the pitching staff. Someone like Marco Estrada could make sense. Their weak farm system would seem to take them out of the Sonny Gray sweepstakes"
The 34-year-old Estrada has struggled this season pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays. But, he won 13 games for Toronto in 2016 and can eat innings. In addition, Estrada can generate a high percentage of ground balls and throws strikes.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Trade signals aggressive post-season run"
With the trade deadline just nine days away, do not be surprised if Hazen adds more pieces. With the Rockies, Cubs and Pirates on the immediate radar screen. the Diamondbacks try and maintain a grip on the top wild card spot.