In an effort to bolster their bullpen, the Marlins on Sunday traded the 39th pick in Thursday's draft to the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed reliever Bryan Morris [stats]. The pick was one of the Marlins' two competitive balance picks, which are the only draft picks that can be traded. They still have the second pick overall, as well as six of the top 107 picks.
"We're two games out of first place," said Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill. "We believe this is a good team. We wanted to do our part to help (Mike Redmond) and the rest of the guys to win ballgames. This was our part to help solidify an area we felt we were a little light."
Morris, a right-hander, has gone 9-7 with a 3.46 in 81 relief appearances over three seasons. This season, he is 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 appearances for the Pirates. Morris, 27, is a former first-round pick (26th overall) of the Dodgers in 2006.
Hill said the Pirates have a deep bullpen and had relievers to spare.
Hill characterized Morris as a "power arm" even though his relatively low strikeout rate suggests otherwise.
"I don't know if you'd categorize him as a strikeout pitcher, although he has plus stuff," Hill said. "It's just a good major league arm that will go into our pen. However he gets them out, we hope he keeps getting them out."
Morris is expected to join the Marlins on Monday. To make room for Morris on their 40-man roster, the Marlins transferred Jose Fernandez to the 60-day DL. They'll have to take someone off the 25-man roster on Monday.
"This was one step in trying to make us a stronger, deeper bullpen," Hill said. "It's an extremely valuable pick, and we wanted to make sure we brought a piece back that could help us now. It's something we could control moving forward. Bryan Morris is only a one-plus service (time). I don't think we're finished in trying to improve our club. We're still trying to make as many improvements as we think we can to help this team. This was the first piece in bringing Morris aboard."
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list on Sunday, said he suffered the injury in Saturday's sixth inning when a B.J. Upton foul ball caught him square in the mask. Afterward, he said he began feeling dizzy and had a doctor examine him late last night.
"Something didn't feel right," Saltalamacchia said. "Normally when it hits, and it hits pretty good, the mask turns. But that one kind of went square."
Saltalamacchia described his concussion as "real mild."
He said his head was struck on a backswing last week when the Marlins were playing the Brewers, but that that blow wasn't the cause for his concussion.