The Miami Marlins improved their bullpen on Thursday with the signing of relief pitcher Anthony Bass of Dearborn, MI. According to the Associated Press, the terms of the contract are for two years of which Bass is guaranteed to make $5 million. However, the financial terms will increase to $8.5 million if Bass becomes the Marlins’ closer.
Miami becomes the seventh team Bass has played for in his Major League Baseball career. He has previously pitched for the San Diego Padres, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Last season while pitching for Toronto exclusively in the United States as the Blue Jays had their home games in Buffalo, Bass pitched in 26 games, and had a record of two wins, and three losses with an earned run average of 3.51. In 25 2/3 innings, he had seven saves, four holds, and 21 strikeouts, and gave up 17 hits, 10 earned runs, and nine walks. Bass also had a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.01.
The bullpen was a surprising strength for the Blue Jays in 2020. In addition to Bass, the Blue Jays had fine performances from numerous relief pitchers including Rafael Dolis, A.J. Cole, Ryan Borucki, Tom Hatch, Jordan Romano, Julian Merryweather, T.J. Zeuch, Sean Reid-Foley, Patrick Murphy, Travis Bergen, and Brian Moran.
The fact that the Blue Jays are taking a huge gamble with closer Kirby Yates of Lihue, HI, Bass became expendable. There is no doubt that Yates was a great pitcher in 2019 as he had an earned run average of 1.19 with the Padres and led Major League Baseball with 41 saves, but was horrendously awful in 2020 as he had a terrible earned run average of 12.46 before missing the rest of the year due to an injury.
Brandon Kintzler led the Marlins with 12 saves in 2020. However, at this time, Kintzler of Las Vegas, NV, is still a free agent, which has opened the opportunity for Bass to be the closer for the Marlins in 2021.