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Marlins Making Moves at Trade Deadline
Marlins Making Moves at Trade Deadline
Apr 24, 2024 1:30 AM

The Miami Marlins entered Monday’s Trade Deadline day at 14-15 but clinging to an NL playoff spot. The recent four-game losing skid, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, put into focus the shortcomings of the squad.

As the team traveled to New York to face the Mets in a makeup game for last Friday’s walk off protest, the Marlins knew they had their hands full. Two-time Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom awaited them, making his fourth consecutive start versus Miami. A loss risked Miami’s playoff position and a lengthy losing streak.

With that as the backdrop, the Marlins not only scored a rousing comeback win over the Mets, the but the team completed a pair of trades for the playoff push.

Marlins and Mets Game

The trades unfolded as the game entered the middle innings. The Marlins were down 2-0 to the Mets, with deGrom dealing. But Marlins rookie starting pitcher Trevor Rogers hung in, limiting the damage New York’s potent offense tried to levy.

The first trade hit Twitter after 3 PM. The Marlins brokered a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks for speedy veteran outfielder Starling Marte. Miami gave up LHP Caleb Smith, RHP Humberto Mejia and a player to be named later. It was reported afterward that the PTBNL was Single-A reliever RHP Julio Frias.

Then, in the fifth inning, with the Mets on the verge of adding further cushion to deGrom’s lead, Rogers induced a pop fly that Jonathan Villar corralled with an over-the-shoulder catch. It would prove to be Villar’s final play as a Marlin.

Cameras caught Marlins manager Don Mattingly speaking with Villar after pinch-hitting Jon Berti. Villar simply nodded. From there, the Marlins offense erupted for four runs off deGrom, including a Garrett Cooper home run and a Lewin DiazRBI double.

Marlins Trades

It was revealed on Twitter, and on the broadcast, that Villar had been dealt to Toronto for a Player to be Named Later. Villar played all 30 games for the Marlins this season with inconsistent results.

Seen as a difference maker as a lead-off hitter, Villar managed just a .259 batting average and .315 on-base percentage. Although he led the National League with nine stolen bases, Villar also led MLB with five caught-stealing attempts. That 64.5 percent rate, and the fact that he’d been picked off multiple times, just wasn’t good enough.

There was a reckless nature to Villar’s play as a Marlin. He regularly swung at first pitches and hit just .268 as a leadoff hitter. He was only 6-for-33 with runners-in-scoring-position. Defensively, Villar couldn’t cut it in centerfield and was just okay at second base.

In return, it’s being reported that the Marlins are getting Griffin Conine, the 23-year-old son of former Florida Marlin Jeff Conine.

Mr. Marlin’s Son Comes Home

Griffin Conine was selected by the Blue Jays with the 52nd overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, one spot ahead of Miami’s second-round slot. Some believe the Marlins would have drafted him then, had he fallen to their slot.

Conine injects another power bat into Miami’s farm system. After a 50-game suspension for the banned stimulant Ritalin, Conine found some success in the Low-A Midwest League last season. He hit .282 with a .947 OPS, slugging 22 home runs and 64 RBI.

A left-handed hitter, Conine’s power does come with the threat of the strikeout. He whiffed 125 times over 348 plate appearances, which isn’t great. He’s capable of driving the ball to all fields, thanks to his bat speed and physical strength. He’s not a speedster by any stretch, but he sports a solid arm defensively.

“If I had to rank [my tools], power would be No. 1, for sure,” Conine said in an interview with MLB.com in March. “Arm would be No. 2, for sure, and after that, it’s kind of a toss up. Speed would be on the lower end, [No. 5] maybe. I don’t think I’m slow, but defense is above that. Glove would be better than speed, and the hit [tool] is probably better than the glove. They can get better.”

A Plantation, FL native who attended Pine Crest high school in Fort Lauderdale, Conine has Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill “incredibly exicted,” although Hill can’t officially say the son of Niner is on the squad.

Other Notes from Marlins Trade Deadline Day

Hill met with Marlins media after Monday’s rousing comeback win over the Mets. He talked through the different deals and praised the team’s grit and fight.

“Our goal is not just to win one year,” Hill said, “it’s to win year in and year out.”

Hill admitted to exploring the bullpen market for the team but couldn’t find anything reasonable. “We weren’t going to mortgage our future,” he said.

Hill called the acquisition of Marte something that “takes pressure off the young guys” and adds to the “middle of the order.” He called Marte a “solid, dependable, everyday bat” and said “I don’t think you give up what we gave up for a 30-day rental.”

Marte is under contract through 2021.

Hill also revealed that Isan Díazhas reported to the team’s Jupiter training complex. Diaz has applied for reinstatement and is currently working out at the team facility. Diaz will soon be reinstatedby the MLB/MLBPA joint committee.

Previous Article:The Starling Marte Trade – A Deeper Look at a Big Win For the Marlins Next Article:Meet the Marlins: Starling Marte
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