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Report: Tampa Bay Rays Hold Interest in Florida Marlins Reliever Matt Lindstrom

Per reporter Joe Frisaro on Twitter:

#Marlins The Rays are exploring interest in Matt Lindstrom, arb eligible for the first time.

Lindstrom will turn 30 in mid-February and pitches with his right arm. Since 2007 he has completed at least 45 innings per year and has FIP of 2.85, 3.27, and 4.47 over that span. His fastball sits at a blistering 96.6 miles per hour for his career and he also features a slider which combine to result in a number of groundballs and contactless swings (career 77.5% contact).

Oddly, Lindstrom has a career .332 BABIP despite all those groundballs. Of all relievers with a GB rate around 45% over the last three seasons only Merkin Valdez and Tyler Yates come close to Lindstrom's BABIP. Then again, we're talking about like 500 balls in play. That's not enough to say whether this is will be a reoccurring issue or simply sample  size issues being mangnified.

Last season, Lindstrom dealt with injuries and allowed a career high 9.3% HR/FB - his previous two season figures were 2.9% and 2% even. Heading forward you shouldn't expect as low as 2%, but it seems like the 9.3% figure won't last either. Somewhere in the middle is likely.As mentioned, he is eligible for arbitration and would be under team control for three seasons.

This one passes the logic test. As would reported interest in Matt Capps, Mark Lowe, or a number of Blue Jays relievers. I'm not sure how realistic a trade with the Marlins is though. In the past they've shown how ... optimistic they are with regards to valuing their own players. Fewer than 12 months ago they asked for Wade Davis in exchange for Jeremy Hermida, and within the past month they dumped Hermida before having to non-tender him. Their ambition has been evident in other potential dealings (i.e. Elijah Dukes) as well.