A curious trade by the Marlins on Sunday. They acquired minor leaguer Chris Bostick, with cash considerations going to the Pirates in exchange for the 25-year-old position player. Jon Heyman of Fancred broke the news first and the club announced it later in the afternoon.
In (very limited) MLB action over the past two seasons, Bostick is an approximately league-average batter: .276/.382/.345, 103 wRC+. With Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018, he’s slashing .295/.351/.436 (121 wRC+) in 78 games and working exclusively as an outfielder. However, the vast majority of his professional experience has been at second base.
The important twist is this:
Chris Bostick will be going onto the #Marlins 40-man roster.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) August 12, 2018
You won’t see Bostick in Miami immediately, as Joe Frisaro adds that he’s reporting to Triple-A New Orleans. And there doesn’t need to be a corresponding roster move because the Marlins had one available 40-man roster spot.
Still, it’s clear to me that this move wasn’t made in a vacuum. The Fish were already facing a roster crunch heading into September, with New Orleans standouts like Austin Dean and Jeff Brigham—among others—making their cases to squeeze onto the 40-man.
Another familiar face could be headed out of town in the coming days to justify adding Bostick. After trading Justin Bour on Friday in a waiver trade, it stands to reason that other Marlins veterans have also been placed on waivers so the team can gauge interest around the league. Derek Dietrich and Starlin Castro appear to be the most likely candidates due to their combination of production and salary.
Buying a controllable player in Bostick who’s demonstrated solid on-base skills in the minors comes with little downside. This FanGraphs video shows him in the 2015 Arizona Fall League, back when he drew some intrigue as a prospect.
The timing of it just raises suspicions about more activity.