Sources: Tigers have inquired on availability of DBacks reliever Brad Ziegler, but Arizona seems inclined to keep him.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
Unfortunately for Tigers fans, the answer that Detroit received was a no-go. Arizona feels “inclined to keep” Ziegler despite being 11.5 games back in the NL West with a 43-56 record.
Even as a Tigers fan, it’s understandable as to why the Diamondbacks would like to keep Ziegler in the desert. He’s played excellent so far this season. In a league-leading 51 appearances, Ziegler has thrown 50.1 innings with a 2.50 ERA, 151 ERA+, 3.30 FIP, 2.59 K/BB, and 1.2 WAR. For his career, he owns a 2.41 ERA, 3.35 FIP, and 10.6 WAR.
Diamondbacks president, Derrick Hall called Ziegler “impossible to replace”, and he is likely right. Ziegler is a great value for Arizona in 2014 and beyond. He will make just $5 million next season and the Diamondbacks carry a $5.5 million club option on him for 2016 that includes a $1 million buyout.
Once again, Arizona’s apparent decision to keep their right-hander is disappointing for Tigers’ fans. Major offseason acquisition, and closer, Joe Nathan has struggled — greatly. Detroit has been on the hunt for bullpen help, scouring the market as the July 31 MLB trade deadline nears. The two hottest names in connection with the Tigers have been Rangers relief pitcher, Joakim Soria and former Tiger, and current San Diego Padre set-up man, Joaquin Benoit.
For a team as good as Detroit, they only have three relievers currently on their roster sporting an above-average ERA+, and a 3.94 staff FIP that ranks just 25th in the majors. While neither Benoit nor Soria are a direct fix to Detroit’s lack of a legitamite closer, at this point we’ll take all the help we can get.