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Ziegler expected to be traded before Deadline

Cubs are front-runners for Marlins reliever, but Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros also in mix
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ATLANTA -- The Marlins are engaged in advanced talks with clubs regarding veteran reliever Brad Ziegler, and a deal is expected to be finalized before today's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

According to a source, the Cubs are considered a front-runner for the right-hander with the submarine-style throwing delivery, but the Marlins also remain engaged with other clubs.

ATLANTA -- The Marlins are engaged in advanced talks with clubs regarding veteran reliever Brad Ziegler, and a deal is expected to be finalized before today's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.

According to a source, the Cubs are considered a front-runner for the right-hander with the submarine-style throwing delivery, but the Marlins also remain engaged with other clubs.

The Cubs, Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers and Astros are clubs that have been scouting Ziegler in recent weeks.

Ziegler has improved his trade value since moving out of the closer role and into a setup spot the past couple of months.

In 53 games, Ziegler has a 3.98 ERA, and an xFIP of 3.53. His ground-ball rate of 74 percent is the highest among all relievers.

On a youthful Marlins team, Ziegler has been a steady bullpen presence, stepping up in high-leverage situations. In 13 1/3 innings in July, he has a 0.68 ERA. In his last 30 appearances, his ERA is 1.23 over 29 ⅓ innings with a WHIP of 1.02.

The Marlins signed Ziegler to a two-year, $16 million contract before the 2017 season. The right-hander has about $3 million remaining on his 2018 salary.

Ziegler opened the season as Miami's closer, and he logged saves in 10 of 11 chances. But being a soft-tosser who is more effective against right-handed hitters, Ziegler's role is best suited for getting ground balls and neutralizing aggressive right-handed hitters.

The Marlins enter today not having completed a trade, but they could be active before 4 p.m. ET.

Relievers Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley have been attracting interest, as are outfielders Derek Dietrich and Cameron Maybin. Second baseman Starlin Castro and first baseman Justin Bour also could be moved for the right offer.

Dan Straily is scheduled to start on tonight against the Braves, and there is a chance he could be moved. But that doesn't appear imminent.

The Marlins in recent days had talked with the Nationals regarding All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. Miami is seeking a high return, and a package that would include outfielder Victor Robles and shortstop Carter Kieboom, Washington's Nos. 1 and 2 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Brad Ziegler