The Cleveland Indians have acquired RHP Nick Wittgren from the Miami Marlins in exchange for RHP Jordan Milbrath. The Marlins also claimed RHP Austin Brice off waivers from Baltimore.
For the Indians, they once again acquire a cast off reliever, hoping for success. It has worked for them with Tyler Olsen, Oliver Perez and Nick Goody, and now they are attempting to do it with Wittgren, who out of the four mentioned, was coming off the best season when acquired by the Tribe. All they give up is a minor league pitcher.
Wittgren, 27, had a 2.94 ERA, with a FIP of 3.13 and 31 strikeouts in 33.2 innings for the Marlins in 2018. In his MLB career, all in Miami, Wittgren has had an ERA of 3.60, with a 3.50 FIP and 116 strikeouts in 127.2 innings.
The Marlins recently DFA\’d Wittgren in a surprise move to open a spot for the signing of INF Neil Walker, so it isn\’t a surprise to see him traded now. Wittgren was arguably Miami\’s 2nd best reliever in 2018, and is just 27, so it doesn\’t make sense to see him go. They get a prospect in Milbrath, and claim Brice, a pitcher with MLB experience who has had teams play hot potato with him this offseason. Brice also was drafted by the Marlins and started out his MLB career with them.
Milbrath, 27, had a 3.96 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 63.2 innings for AA Akron and AAA Columbus in 2018.
Brice, 26, had a 5.79 ERA, 5.87 FIP and 32 strikeouts in 37.1 innings for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. In his MLB career for the Reds and Marlins, Brice has an ERA of 5.68, with a 5.25 FIP and 72 strikeouts in 84 innings.