February 24, 2024

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Marlins, Twins trade Nick Gordon for Stephen Okert

Marlins, Twins trade Nick Gordon for Stephen Okert

The Marlins and Twins have agreed to a deal that will send an infielder/outfielder Nick Gordon To Miami in exchange for the lefty Stephen Okert. Robert Murray from FanSided (X link) was the first to report Gordon's trade to the Fish, while Craig Misch of the Miami Herald reported (via X) that Okert was headed to Minnesota.

The fifth overall pick of the 2014 draft, Gordon was a top prospect for most of his time in the Twins' farm system although his star began to wane due to injuries and struggles in the upper minors. With a career .248/.298/.361 hit over 829 Triple-A plate appearances, Gordon still made his MLB debut in 2021 as he appeared in 73 games for the Twins, then took on a larger role with 443 PA over 136 games in 2022. Gordon earned additional playing time by hitting .272/.316/.427 during the 2022 campaign, and his ability to play multiple positions made him an especially valuable asset on an injury-plagued Minnesota team.

Unfortunately, injury trouble came again for Gordon himself last year, as he suffered a broken right leg after fouling a ball on himself on May 17. Thus ending his MLB season after just 34 games, Gordon returned for six Triple-A games. in September but was not ready to return to the active roster before the end of the regular season. Gordon had gotten off to a rough start even before his injury, hitting just .176/.185/.319 in 93 Penn.

The trade comes just one day after the results of Gordon's arbitration hearing, and the committee sided with the Twins by deciding on Gordon's salary at $900,000 in 2024, instead of the requested $1.25 million figure. Gordon is heading into his age 28 season but remains manageable during the 2027 campaign depending on his Super Two status. Okert offers only slightly less control, as he was arb eligible for the first three times this winter and avoided arbitration by agreeing with the Marlins to a $1,062,500 salary for the 2024 season.

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It's been just over a year since the Twins and Marlins lined up in the blockbuster four-player swap that sent… Luis Arraez To Miami and Pablo Lopez To Minnesota. Today's move isn't nearly as high-profile, but it marks the fifth trade between the two franchises in the past 13 months, as the Twins' comfort level with Miami's front office has continued even now that Peter Bendix took over from Kim Ng as the Marlins' president of baseball operations.

Gordon spent most of his time in the majors as a second baseman, center fielder, and right fielder, with a few appearances at shortstop, third base, and right field. Overall defensive metrics haven't impressed with Gordon's skill at any of his positions, but his sheer versatility makes him an intriguing piece on Miami's roster. Gordon is unlikely to be the answer to the Marlins' needs on short notice, though John Bertie Ending up getting the bulk of playing time at short, Gordon may fill Bertie's old role as the main utility option.

As Anthony Franco recently noted in an article for MLBTR front office subscribers, the Marlins entered the offseason with a significant amount of left-handed relief depth, between Okert, Tanner Scott, AG BookAnd Andrew Nardi. It doesn't seem likely that Scott will be affected given his projected role in Miami, and unlike Uckert, both Scott and Book have secondary options remaining. Since Gordon is also out of options, this trade helps both teams address some needs at the expense of a disposable player.

Okert, a veteran of six MLB seasons with the Giants and Marlins, posted a 2.89 ERA over 87 1/3 relief innings for Miami in 2021-22, with the help of a .224 BABIP. Some course corrections arrived in 2023, as Okert had a .295 BABIP and 4.45 ERA over 58 2/3 frames, a nice mixed bag of peripherals. Ockert's strikeout and strikeout rates were well above average, but his walk and barrel rates were below league average. The 32-year-old Ockert is also a very volleyball player, so his effectiveness tends to depend on how well he keeps the ball in the park.

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On the plus side, Okert has good numbers against both left- and right-handed hitters, and has been a workhorse with 124 plate appearances over the past two seasons. Will join now Caleb Thielbar As a top southpaw option in Minnesota's very strong relief corps and a starter Cody Funderburk He provides another interesting left-hander who could be moved back and forth from Triple-A as circumstances dictate.

Between payroll cuts and concerns about their television contract, the Twins' offseason has started moving at full speed over the past two weeks. Minnesota has now dealt with both Jorge Polanco And Gordon is trying to improve his throwing depth at the expense of a somewhat crowded group of position players, especially inside the outfield. Even without Gordon, Willie Castro And Kyle Farmer He could pick up the utility man on the Twins' roster and top prospects Austin Martin And Brooks Lee Both are expected to make their MLB debut in 2024.