Ziegler says he won't ask Marlins to trade him
Veteran reliever feeling good after injury-plagued '17 season
MIAMI -- Brad Ziegler signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Marlins last offseason, and the veteran right-hander has every intention to stick with the club until he is told otherwise.
Ziegler addressed his status and the direction of the organization as a guest Wednesday morning on Sirius XM Fantasy Baseball, hosted by Craig Mish and Jim Bowden.
Asked if he has requested a trade, Ziegler said: "No, I have not. I understand the frustration. I made sure my agent would not do that. I don't think he would do that anyways. He knows. I'm happy where I'm at. Whatever team wants to have me the most, that's the team I want to play for, because I want to be wanted wherever I'm at."
The Marlins have already had a busy offseason, trading Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna.
On Tuesday, Joe Longo, the agent for outfielder Christian Yelich, told ESPN.com that his client wants to be traded. In recent weeks, catcher J.T. Realmuto and infielder Starlin Castro, less publicly, expressed a desire not to be part of a rebuild situation in Miam
Ziegler, who will make $9 million this year, is a possibility to be dealt, either before Opening Day or around the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Earlier in the offseason, the Cardinals were among the clubs that had discussions with the Marlins regarding the right-hander.
If he stays, Ziegler is a front-runner to close in Miami. The 38-year-old saved 10 games last year and has 95 saves in his career.
After the Marlins went 77-85 in 2017, new ownership has decided to restructure the roster and build from the bottom up. Ziegler, who has been part of rebuilds in the past, understands the industry.
"When we were not a playoff team with the best player in the National League, and another All-Star, and a former batting champ and stolen-base champ that have been traded away this winter, it kind of feels like it's going to be a challenge for us to compete this year," Ziegler said. "It doesn't mean we're not going to go out and give it everything we've got. I get the mentality, and the frustration.
"But I signed a two-year deal to play in Miami. I'm fully expecting to play those two years in Miami. If they end up trading me at some point, it's not going to be because I asked them to. It's going to be because they felt like it was the best move for the team going forward."
Ziegler had an injury-plagued 2017, spending time on the disabled list twice due to a right back strain. The right-hander said he suffered an injury early in Spring Training and tried to labor through it in the first half. He finished with a 4.79 ERA in 53 appearances.
"I feel really good," Ziegler said. "I've been playing catch every morning about 7 a.m. It gets my body woken up for the early Spring Training work. I'm feeling good right now."