Tag: Brad Ziegler

Brad Ziegler to Marlins: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Miami Marlins and free-agent relief pitcher Brad Ziegler agreed to a two-year contract worth $16 million plus incentives, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Friday. 

MLB.com’s Joe Frisario later confirmed Rosenthal‘s reports. 

The 37-year-old has been one of baseball’s most underrated relievers over his nine professional seasons. 

With the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks and, most recently, the Boston Red Sox for half of a season, Ziegler has posted a career 2.44 ERA with a WHIP of 1.228, per Baseball-Reference.com

He’s been close to lights-out over the past two seasons, posting a 1.85 ERA and 30 saves in 66 appearances during 2015 with the Diamondbacks. 

Ziegler racked up 13 saves and a 2.82 ERA in 36 games in 2016 before he was dealt to the Red Sox. In Boston, he allowed just five earned runs in 29.2 innings as more of a middle reliever:

A sidearm delivery, which at times can dip down to almost that of the submarine variety, has made Ziegler such a tough pitcher to read.

The various arm angles, especially from an unorthodox position, camouflage the ball in a way that makes the batter unable to pick the ball up as quickly as a pitcher with an overhand delivery. 

It’s a much-needed acquisition for the Marlins bullpen, which lost out on big-time free agents Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman this offseason but did manage to sign former Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa on Friday, via ESPN.com.

Now with Ziegler joining him in Miami, the Marlins have more options alongside A.J. Ramos for late-inning situations come 2017. 


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Brad Ziegler to Red Sox: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Boston Red Sox announced the acquisition of relief pitcher Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday in exchange for minor leaguers Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro Basabe

The move came on the heels of news that Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel was unavailable to pitch Friday evening because of what was originally called left knee soreness, as USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale noted at the time. 

Kimbrel was later diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus that will require surgery, putting him on the 15-day disabled list, per the Red Sox. Manager John Farrell told reporters that Ziegler and Koji Uehara will share the closer’s role until Kimbrel returns.

Once Kimbrel recovers, Ziegler will be a strong contingency plan as a closer who can bolster the team’s bullpen as a setup man. 

“From a baseball standpoint you have a team that’s just a couple of games out of first and there’s a lot of opportunity there,” Ziegler said Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert

In 38.1 innings so far this season, Ziegler has notched 18 saves while posting a 2.82 ERA, 1.461 WHIP, 27 strikeouts and 15 walks. 

Those numbers may not be wildly impressive, but Ziegler is known for being one of MLB’s tougher matchups against right-handed hitting. Now in his ninth professional season, he has held right-handed batters to an average of .224. Conversely, lefties have recorded a .273 average working against the 36-year-old. 

With a solid three-pitch arsenal that includes a fastball, slider and changeup, Ziegler should be able to help patch up some of Boston’s bullpen woes. 

Entering Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Red Sox relievers rank eighth among all American League teams with a shaky 3.92 ERA.  

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Johnny Damon Hits the Nail on the Head with PED Talk

After an 18-year career in the majors, Johnny Damon feels he was forced to leave the game of baseball before he was ready to hang up the spikes. The reason for that, according to Damon, is because he never used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

In an interview with 810 CBS Sports, the 40-year-old was asked to consider his place in baseball history. In addition to the stats and the accolades, Damon said the following should be considered:

I played it clean. That’s what everybody’s going to be looking at. I think I’m one of the only players to come out and say, “I guarantee you there is nothing I’ve done that enhanced my baseball career.”

Over the course of those 18 years, Damon played with a handful of notable players tied to PED use. To name a few: Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, David Ortiz, Roger Clemens, Magglio Ordonez and Gary Sheffield. 

He makes an interesting case for his enshrinement amongst baseball’s greats. With 2,769 hits, a .284 average, 1,139 RBI and two World Series championships (2004 and 2009), Damon certainly had an above-average career with the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians. With no evidence or speculation contradicting his claimed cleanliness, he might just have a case for Cooperstown. 

However, that debate is for another day. The rest of the interview was far more notable and worth talking about, as Damon looked at more than his own career, focusing on some of the problems with Major League Baseball as the game tries to move past the PED era:

The game today, it’s a slap on the wrist for people, and it sends a bad message to kids, the families. You can’t fault someone who has a chance to make $20 million, $50 million, $100 million for going against the system to get to where they are. You can’t fault them.

There are certain guys who cheated the system and they’re still being patted on the back. That’s not great for our kids, especially my son. He’s playing high school baseball now and these kids are very influenced, and if you tell a kid, “You do something and you’re going to have a chance to make $100 million,” people are going to sign up.

I don’t want my son or anybody else’s kid to get involved with it. But it seems like Major League Baseball is allowing it.

Now, who might Damon be talking about? Who fits that mold of getting a slap on the wrist for cheating the system? A few players come to mind, including Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera.

After being suspended 50 games in 2013 as part of the Biogenesis scandal, Peralta signed a lavish four-year, $53 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals this past winter. Cruz, who was also suspended as a part of the scandal, signed a more modest but still generous one-year, $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. And after being suspended 50 games as a member of the 2012 San Francisco Giants, Cabrera agreed to a two-year, $16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

These players cheated the game, yet following their suspensions, they were welcomed back with open arms and millions of dollars. Damon is right—that does send a bad, bad message, especially to youth ballplayers.

Two of those guys came back to make an average annual salary of $8 million, while the other, Peralta, got over $13 million a year. In what other profession can you break the rules and hurt your organization, yet somehow get such a grand reward? 

Any young ballplayer, whether he be in high school, college, the minors or the 25th man on the big league roster, is looking at these cases and thinking, “Hey, this (PEDs) is worth it. Even if I get in trouble, I’m going to get paid. I could make millions.”

This, as Damon said, is something Major League Baseball needs to look at. The league needs to strengthen its substance-abuse policy, because as much as it says it cares about cleaning up the game, the way Damon and so many others see it, it’s still beneficial for players to cheat. The consequences have yet to outweigh the rewards.

That means going beyond suspensions and public shaming and hitting players where it hurts, their pockets. One way to do this that frequently comes up is to limit suspended players to a certain salary, say the league minimum, come their next free-agent contract. It’s a great idea, one that would truly make players pay for their actions and would tell other players to stay clear of PEDs.

The problem with this is that the player’s union would never agree to it, because, well, there are still cheaters out there. Those cheaters want to get paid if they get caught, just like Peralta, Cruz and Cabrera did.

The best option available, as far as cleaning up the game goes, is for the league, its teams and its players (the clean ones) to take a moral stand against PED use. Back in November the Arizona Diamondbacks made headlines for their tendency to avoid players with ties to PEDs.

Arizona’s Brad Ziegler made his personal thoughts known as well following the Peralta signing:

This is what Major League Baseball needs. More players, active ones, have to come out and shame those who disparage the game of baseball. More teams have to refuse to bring these guys aboard. The suspensions do no good if teams are still lining up to pay the cheaters.

Damon is on to something here. Baseball is sending mixed messages about the pitfalls of PED use. Getting caught is not teaching players the lesson the league wants them to learn. It’s time the MLB as a whole got on the same page and started sending the right message.

There can be no reward for cheating the game.


All stats were obtained via Baseball-Reference.

Question or comments? Feel free to follow me on Twitter @GPhillips2727 to talk the Yankees and Major League Baseball.

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Who’s Hot, Who’s Not for Arizona Diamondbacks Entering Australia Series

The oddly-scheduled opening day for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers is just a couple of days away.

Spring training will halt for the two teams while they play two regular-season games in Australia. Some Diamondbacks have been locked in over the first half of March, while others have not. Luckily, those who haven’t played well will get four more exhibition games after their two-game stint down under.

For those who haven’t been following spring training, here is an update on who has been playing well and who has been struggling.

Who’s Hot

Martin Prado has been scalding throughout March. He is hitting .475 in 40 at-bats, which leads the team and is one of the best in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues. Of his 19 hits, he has slugged one home run and six doubles.

A.J. Pollock is next on the list with a .425 batting average in 40 at-bats. He has a homer, four doubles and three triples and has scored eight times.

Gerardo Parra is another player who came ready to play this spring. In 38 at-bats, Parra is hitting .342 with three doubles and seven RBI. He is also second on the team with five walks, trailing Paul Goldschmidt’s total of six.

On the pitching side, Wade Miley has probably had the best spring in terms of starters. In three starts, he has pitched 14 innings and has a 1.29 ERA and a WHIP of 1.07. He has compiled 11 strikeouts while walking three and giving up just two earned runs.

Josh Collmenter also makes the list. He has appeared in seven games and has yet to give up a run in 9.1 innings. Opponents have hit just .129 against him, and he has posted a 0.54 WHIP.

Who’s Not

For those who are struggling, we will start with the pitchers.

Trevor Cahill has had the worst spring of any Arizona pitcher. In 16 innings, Cahill has surrendered 14 earned runs and 26 hits, four of which were homers. His ERA is 7.88, and opponents are hitting .382 against him.

Brad Ziegler is another hurler who has struggled this spring. In his six appearances, he has given up nine hits and eight earned runs in 5.1 innings on the mound. He has also walked four batters and struck out only one.

Randall Delgado has started three games and thrown 11.1 innings. He has given up three home runs in his time on the mound, compiling a 5.56 ERA. He is one of five pitchers to give up more than one long ball this spring.

Getting back to the batter’s box, newly acquired Matt Tuiasosopo hasn’t hit well this spring. In 34 at-bats, he has posted a dreadful .118 batting average and has struck out 14 times. His four hits are the second lowest total of any Diamondback with at least 30 ABs.

Didi Gregorius is also struggling at the plate. He has a .205 batting average in 39 at-bats and has scored just one run. Gregorius has also been successful stealing a base once in three tries.

Tony Campana is the only Diamondback with at least six hits to not have an extra base hit. His batting average is only .216, and he has struck out nine times in 37 at-bats. The only bright spot for Campana is the five stolen bases he has compiled.

All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

You can follow Trey on Twitter @treydwarren

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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brad Ziegler’s Comments Are Good for MLB

Arizona Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler isn’t a household name or even one of the best players on his own team. But Ziegler’s comments in the wake of the St. Louis Cardinals signing of Jhonny Peralta, first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, were desperately needed by the game. 

The media, MLB and the fans can complain about PEDs and cheating in sports as much as they want, but real change will only come about if current and former players continue to speak out and be the long-term guardians of baseball. 

That’s why Ziegler’s comments are so important to the game. After hearing of Peralta’s signing, Ziegler sent out a tweet that read “It pays to cheat…Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use.”

It was exactly what needed to be said. Peralta’s contract sent a terrible signal through the sport, making it look like Peralta ended up being rewarded for cheating. Other players are going to see the money involved and think Peralta benefited from cheating the game. 

It’s telling that the 34-year-old Ziegler, a player who might be tempted to extend his career by using PEDs, is trying to protect the sport while other, more talented players are trying to squeeze the sport dry. Ziegler had to wait until he was 28 to get his chance at the majors. Wonder how many players jumped ahead of him by using PEDs. 

We have already seen a huge shift from MLB and the players association in the past year, with both organizations working together to clean up the game and hold the players accountable. This past year’s Biogenesis scandal was handled to the point where 13 of the players involved were presented with the facts and were given 50-game suspensions to begin serving last season. 

The Biogenesis scandal was one of the first moments that players in the game were openly critical of other players who had been caught. This article from Chris Greenberg at the Huffington Post contained many strong comments from current and former players, including Ziegler, about the suspensions. In the past, it seemed like players were reluctant to comment on PED suspensions. 

In another tweet, Ziegler acknowledges that the 50-game suspension is not enough of a deterrent and that it will need to be fixed. It will have to be bargained between the owners and players, but players need to face much stiffer penalties in the form of games lost and loss of income to make this a real deterrent. Trading 50 games worth of paychecks for a free-agent payday is an easy trade. 

Hopefully MLB will continue what they have started by working with the players to rebuild the integrity of the sport. The recent suspensions have been a good start in that direction, but they are only the first step. 

Peralta‘s new contract pays him more than $15.5 million next season, more than twice what Ziegler has made in his entire career over six seasons. If you are looking at real reasons why players cheat and why there is resentment in the game, it might come down to something as simple as that. 

It’s pays to cheat. Hopefully, Ziegler will look back on that phrase one day and think that baseball has changed. 


Information used from Jon Heyman/CBS Sports, Baseball ReferenceBrad Ziegler/Twitter, Chris Greenberg/Huffington Post.

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Could Kevin Kouzmanoff, Michael Wuertz Help The Angels Win The AL West

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim need help to reclaim another American League West division title. With the Texas Rangers adding Cliff Lee to their rotation it’s going to be tougher than ever for the Angels to catch the Rangers. 

Currently the Angels own a 47-42 record and are four and a half games out of first place. Yet, if the Angels would like to catch the Rangers and pass them for first place the Angels could use some help.

Where does the help come form? The Oakland A’s. They’ve got two players that would improve the team considerably. When making a trade with the A’s the Angels don’t have to give up players who are already at the Major League levels, just some prospects. 

Now the Angels could actually trade for two players from the A’s. One players alone would help them with their fielding problems and give them a bat in the lineup, and take away from the platoon at third base. 

Kevin Kouzmanoff has had an up and down season with the A’s hitting the ball. He’s aggressive and not very patient, but he would fit right into the Angels lineup. Not only that he wouldn’t have to be hitting so high up in the lineup as he had done with the A’s. 

He’s hitting a decent .269, with 89 hits, 16 doubles, eight homers, 40 rbis, and a stolen base. Kouzmanoff would definitely be an improvement of Brandon Wood, Macier Izturis (currently injured), and Kevin Frandsen. 

Defensively he improves the Angels dramatically. Of the group of players that have seen time at third base for the Angels they’ve combined for 14 errors while Kouzmanoff has only seven errors.

The other player that would benefit the Angels would be Michael Wuertz. After an outstanding season with the A’s last year he’s been inconsistent this year, but a fresh start may help him regain the magic that he had last year. 

It also wouldn’t hurt the Angels because the bullpen has been struggling throughout the year and the addition of Wuertz could boost some life into the bullpen. So, far Wuertz has appeared in 23 games, has a record of 2-1, with a save, an ERA of 5.71, has struckout 13 and walked 10. 

The season before that though Wuertz went 6-1, in 74 appearances, had four saves, and struck out 102 while walking 23. 

With the year that Wuertz is having though it maybe difficult for the A’s to include him with Kouzmanoff. So, Brad Ziegler could be the other option in the trade to help improve the Angels bullpen. 

Ziegler has had a decent season so far he does struggle a little bit against left handed hitters. He’s appeared in 41 games, has a record of 2-4, and has 25 strikeouts to go along with 17 strikeouts. 

As for the Angels what players would they give up in a trade to the A’s for Kouzmanoff and Wuertz or Ziegler?

Michael Kohn is a 24 year old right handed relief pitcher who’s appeared both at the Double-A and Triple A level and is having a solid year in 35 games he has a 2.08 ERA with 52 strikeouts to 20 walk, and 10 saves. 

Tyson Auer also 24 is an outfielder who can play each position who has appeared in Advanced A ball and now Double A is hitting a combined .340, with 103 hits, eight doubles, eight triples, three homeruns, 30 rbis, and 44 stolen bases. 

Also, coming over could be Casey Haerther who’s at the Single A level who has played both third base and first base. He’s 22 years old and currently hitting .315, with 90 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, four homeruns, 54 rbis, and nine stolen bases. 

Either way the trades would benefit both clubs it would bring in a reliever that the Angels could definitely use a third basemen that can not only hit but provide defense at the hot corner and the A’s like they usually do they’d be getting young talent to build up their farm system. 

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