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Marlins claim Rosell Herrera off waivers from Royals

The first Marlins transaction of the new year fills their 40-man roster with a 26-year-old utility man.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Marlins announced Wednesday afternoon that they’ve claimed infielder/outfielder Rosell Herrera off waivers from the Royals. The acquisition fills up their 40-man roster.

Herrera, 26, split his 2018 season between the Reds and Royals organizations. In his first taste of major league action (mostly for Kansas City), he was a mediocre hitter—.234/.286/.317, 63 wRC+ in 302 plate appearances—deployed at five different defensive positions (six if you include DH). He only homered once despite being listed at 6-foot-3. Here it is:

Returning home to compete with Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, the switch-hitter’s results weren’t any better. He slashed just .169/.243/.231 in 75 plate appearances. Herrera mostly played left field for them.

On Thursday’s episode of Swings and Mishes, Craig Mish passed along this scouting report from an industry source who has worked with Herrera personally (somebody outside the Marlins organization):

“Off the charts. Love him. Hardest-working greatest person there is. Plays everywhere. Greatest teammate and coachable. He needs some adjustments at the plate to be a big league hitter. If he does, he can be an everyday guy for the right team. If all players were like him, everyone’s job would be great. Refreshing player.”

The Marlins’ current outfield candidates for the Opening Day roster lean heavily right-handed, which could leave a spot up for grabs between Herrera and Magneuris Sierra to provide some balance. Both have obvious limitations at the plate, but impact the game positively with their legs and gloves.

Herrera is out of minor league options, so the club would need to pass him through waivers in order to stash him with Triple-A New Orleans.