Cishek will enter the season as the team's closer, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. The Mariners brought in Cishek earlier in the week, and while it was expected to compete with Joaquin Benoit for the closer role, the club apparently already feels comfortable enough to give that title to their newest addition. The 29-year-old has 95 career saves to his name, but could have a short leash in that capacity if he struggles with Benoit waiting.
Cishek agreed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Mariners on Saturday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Cishek will land in Seattle as the favorite for the closer role, competing with Joaquin Benoit for the final inning. This comes after Seattle dealing away two strong right-handed relief arms in Carson Smith and Tom Wilhelmsen, so Cishek's arrival will help offset the losses. The 29-year-old will likely have to get over the control issues that plagued him in Miami and St. Louis, where he registered a career-high 4.4 BB/9 in 2015.
The Cardinals declined to tender Cishek a contract for 2016. The 29-year-old turned his season around after coming over to St. Louis in a July trade, but it was not enough to warrant a $7-plus million price tag for 2016. Cishek, who saved 73 games for the Marlins from 2013-14, will almost certainly sign a major-league deal elsewhere at a reduced cost. His role will depend on where he signs.
Cardinals pitcher Steve Cishek was unable to complete an inning's work Monday, retiring two hitters and walking three before being removed in a 3-0 win over the Pirates. Cishek's control completely eluded him Monday night; after walks to two of the first three hitters he faced, a free pass to pinch-hitter Michael Morse brought an end to the 29-year-old's night. Few players have seen their fantasy stock fall as far as Cishek in 2015. Beginning the year as Miami's closer, the sidewinder has since been relegated to a middle relief role with the Cardinals after a surprise demotion to Double-A. While Cishek owns a 2.18 ERA as a member of the Cardinals, a 1.44 WHIP will make him difficult to use in high-leverage situations this postseason.
The Marlins traded former closer Steve Cishek to the Cardinals, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. The Marlins acquired Double-A pitcher Kyle Barraclough in exchange for Cishek, according to the Miami Herald. Cishek began the season as the Marlins closer before being removed from the role in mid-May. He was then demoted to the minors in early June as he continued to struggle. The right-hander spent just a few weeks in the minors before being recalled in mid-June. Since his return, he has gone 1-1 with a 0.71 ERA and three holds in 13 outings. He also has 11 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings in that span.