The Associated Press reports the Florida Marlins acquired relief pitcher Jorge Julio and cash from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Yusmeiro Petit.
Julio had an up-and-down season last year. For the New York Mets and Diamondbacks combined, he went 2-4 with 16 saves, a 4.23 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In 66 innings pitched, he had 88 strikeouts. With the Diamondbacks, he went 1-2 with 15 saves, a 3.83 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.
By the end of the season, relief pitcher Jose Valverde had reclaimed the closer's role for the Diamondbacks. The team believes Valverde, 27, has more upside than Julio, and has tried using him as a closer for parts of the last four seasons. From 2003-2006, Valverde saved 51 games for the Diamondbacks. Jorge's departure means a little less pressure on Valverde.
The Marlins were going into the 2007 season without a proven closer on their roster. Candidates for the closer's role were relief pitchers Taylor Tankersley, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens. Julio now provides the Marlins with someone who at least has closing experience. In his six-year career, Julio has 99 total saves. His best season as a closer was in 2003, when he had 36 saves for the Baltimore Orioles.
Julio's fantasy value has significantly increased because of this trade. While
he may have a high ERA for a closer, he also has the potential to save 25 or
more games. He was probably not drafted in most fantasy leagues, making him
a valuable waiver pickup at this point. In fantasy leagues that have yet to
hold their drafts, expect Julio to be drafted in the middle rounds. He is fair
game anytime after the ninth round.
Petit is a former top prospect in the Mets system that has yet to gain a foothold in the majors. He has posted a 9.57 ERA in 26 1/3 major league innings, but he has a career 29-21 mark, with a 3.09 ERA, in four minor league seasons. The Mets traded Petit to the Marlins last offseason, so he will be joining his third organization in two years. He likely doesn't figure into Arizona's plans immediately, but the Diamondbacks, with several disappointing farm-raised starters of their own, are now hoping that Petit fulfills his potential.
About Mike Barner
Mike Barner has been a KFFL Hot Off The Wire Analyst and KFFL contributing writer since 2007.
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