The Miami Marlins sent former closer Kyle Barraclough to the Washington Nationals for international bonus pool money on Wednesday.
Barraclough struggled in the second half of the 2018 season and ended up with only ten total saves. The right-hander had a rough 4.20 E.R.A and was tagged with six of Miami's losses. Barraclough was the subject of trade rumors prior to the July 31st trade deadline, but the Marlins ultimately held on to the reliever.
The Marlins have been acquiring pool money as of late and could be making a move on multiple international free agents. Miami was present for a recent showcase involving Victor Victor Mesa and his brother Victor Mesa. Miami could be trying to sign both players, along with possibly other names as well. Victor Victor Mesa is an exciting prospect, but the Marlins could end up in a bidding war for his services.
Teams have a limited amount of bonus pool money each year and prior to this trade, Miami had the second biggest total of dollars available. The Baltimore Orioles are in the top spot and could offer Mesa or any international prospect more than any other team. This decision could end up being a strictly financially based one for the players and the Marlins are clearly trying to even that playing field.
Barraclough was expected to enter the 2019 season with a big role in Miami's pen once again, but now there is a big question mark on the team. Miami will likely give a few pitchers a chance to win the job as closer during spring training. Drew Steckenrider, Nick Wittgren and Tayron Guerrero are just some of the names to keep an eye on for that role. The Marlins could also try and add some free agents during the off-season.
Miami is not expected to contend in 2019, but having a reliable closer is still important for the young club. In addition to finding a closer, the Marlins will likely be searching for some more help in the bullpen over the next few months.