With the Dodgers casting a wide net while fishing for bullpen help, they could head to Miami to catch a few Marlins.
The Marlins have a few relievers who are drawing trade interest, with scouts from multiple teams watching them, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) July 14, 2019
The most sought after will be 29-year-old right-hander Nick Anderson or 27-year-old righty Austin Brice, while 26-year-old lefty Jarlin Garcia could become a popular name in discussions.
Any of them could be targets for the Dodgers so let’s break down each one and their fit with the team.
On the surface, Anderson doesn’t appear to be an upgrade as he’s posted a 4.46 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. What makes Anderson appealing is his ability to miss bats. He is currently sporting a 35.8 K%, which is in the 97th percentile of pitchers. He uses two pitches, a fastball that sits in the upper 90’s and a curveball in the mid-80’s.
His problem is he has been giving up hard contact too often and pitching with poor defense behind him doesn’t help. Since he already has the ability to strike guys out, getting him away from the trainwreck that is the Miami Marlins could benefit him. But even in Miami, Anderson’s FIP sits at a stellar 2.99 and his DRA is a strong 3.26.
If there is one thing Andrew Friedman loves, it’s buying low on upside, especially when they have long term team control. Anderson fits the profile and could become a late-inning option for the next five seasons if they acquired him.
Brice is almost the opposite of Anderson. He only strikes out 23.2% of hitters but he excels at limiting hard contact. His primary pitch is a low to mid 80’s slider that he pairs with a mid-90’s fastball and low-90’s sinker. His slider stands out because it has exceptional spin, ranking in the 96th percentile.
That combination has allowed him to post an ERA of 1.88 in 38 1/3 innings of work with a 3.82 DRA. He backs up his ERA with strong expected stats, which estimate a pitcher’s numbers based on the batted balls he allows. Brice is in the top 10 percent of pitchers in expected batting average, slugging percentage, and weighted on-base average.
If acquired, he would be a late-inning option for Dave Roberts. Perhaps the most intriguing part about acquiring him is he would be a different type of pitcher out of the bullpen since he doesn’t focus on strikeouts like most late-inning relievers.
While Garcia is not the most intriguing option available, he would fill the Dodgers’ biggest need: a left-handed reliever. The 26-year-old has pitched to a 2.96 ERA, 3.02 FIP, and 3.78 DRA in 27 1/3 innings this year. The most concerning thing is he doesn’t strike a lot of hitters out (19.3%), but he does limit walks (6.4%).
His three-pitch mix includes a mid-90’s fastball, mid-80’s slider and high-80’s changeup.
The Dodgers could use him because he is strong against left-handed hitters, which is something they are lacking in their bullpen. So far this season, Garcia has held lefties to a .179/.238/.256 line.
He would best be utilized as a specialist and shouldn’t be counted on to take over a late-inning role. Still, having a trusted arm to face star left-handed hitters would be valuable in October.