The Miami Marlins have signed right-handed pitcher Brad Ziegler on Friday evening, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.
According to Rosenthal, the Marlins and Ziegler have reached a two-year, $16 million pact. SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports that Ziegler's deal includes $2 million worth of incentives that would push the total guarnatee to $18 million.
Other than the Marlins, the Nationals, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Mets, Yankees and others also showed varying degrees of interest in the submarine artist throughout the offseason.
For Miami, Ziegler is the second bullpen arm they've added in two days (with the first being right-hander Junichi Tazawa). It makes sense that the Marlins have prioritized bullpen additions this offseason; the team ranked 7th in the NL in WAR from relief pitchers and posted the second-most blown saves (29).
As for Ziegler, this two-year deal coming at age 37 has to be big. Prior to this contract, he had only earned about $22 million (via Baseball Reference) over his entire career. His ability to close out games over the past two years made him a hot commodity in this expensive bullpen market.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Ziegler to earn a two-year, $16 million deal before the offseason began, and this contract is exactly in line with the projection barring incentives.
Even with his age and fastball that hovers around 84 mph, Ziegler was still arguably one of the most effective relief pitchers in the Major Leagues last season.
Over the course of the whole year, Ziegler posted a 2.25 ERA and a 58-26 K/BB ratio (3.10 FIP; 3.58 xFIP) in 68 innings pitched with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox. Ziegler also saved 22 games and made eight holds in 36 opportunities.
According to FanGraphs, Ziegler had the most valuable season of his career with a 1.3 WAR. And while his K/BB ratio isn't the same as the hard-throwing relievers in the league who post ridiculously high numbers, Zielger's 63.3 ground ball percentage is elite. It ranked fifth among all relievers in baseball.
With the Marlins, Ziegler could either serve as a set-up man to closer A.J. Ramos or be the closer himself.