The Cardinals have swung a deal to acquire reliever Steve Cishek from the Marlins in exchange for minor-league closer Kyle Barraclough, as first reported by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The deal is now official
Cishek has been in high demand over the last few days, with the Twins, Dodgers and Blue Jays showing strong interest in addition to the Cardinals. The right-hander was also linked to the Tigers and Red Sox in previous reports, and is one of many Marlins who are expected to be traded before next Friday's trade deadline.
Cishek will join Carlos Villanueva, Kevin Siegrist, Randy Choate, and Seth Maness in front of All-Star closer Trevor Rosenthal in a the Cardinals' bullpen, while Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle work their way back from injuries. Cishek is expected to work in the seventh or eighth inning.
Cishek, 29, struggled mightily to start the season, and currently has a 4.50 ERA in 32 appearances while saving only three games. He has a 1.31 ERA with fifteen strikeouts in 20.2 innings since May 16, showing that he has returned to being the effective late-inning reliever that was so successful as the Marlins' closer from 2012 to 2014, when he saved 91 games. He is under team control through the 2017 season, but will likely be expensive in arbitration this winter and is considered a non-tender candidate.
Barraclough, a 25-year old reliever, was the Cardinals' seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft and has spent the majority of his season with Double-A Springfield. He has posted a 2.27 ERA while saving twelve games in 34 appearances split between High-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield so far this season, and was not ranked on MLB.com's list of St. Louis' top thirty prospects.