The Marlins traded right-handed reliever Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday along with right-handed starting pitching prospect Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later. In return, they received the power hitting first-baseman Lewin Diaz.
Romo, a 12-year major league veteran will now take his 3.58 ERA, 17 saves and his wicked slider to the AL pennant race. The Marlins signed him to a one-year, $2.5M deal in the winter (Minnesota is paying the remainder of that).
Romo will join his new team in Chicago, but return to Miami as a visitor when the Twins and Fish meet for a three-game series beginning on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Díaz has enjoyed a tremendous bounce back season in 2019. His first go-around at High-A in 2018 went poorly (.224 with 6 HR). And then in 2019, the lights turned on. Starting off the year slashing .290/.333/.533 with 13 homers in 57 games earned Diaz the promotion to Double-A where he did not slow down—.309/.348/.602, 6 HR in 32 G.
He will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible next season, so in all likelihood, Diaz will be on the 40-man roster for 2020 and a call-up candidate at some point next year. The 22-year-old easily slots in as the top 1B prospect in the Marlins organization and helps address two big needs the Marlins have: power and left-handed hitting.
My man had sixto for breakfast lunch and dinner pic.twitter.com/Xg0e2kBHTV— DJ Derek D (@ManicMike27) July 28, 2019
The Marlins handpicked Diaz as a prospect they believed suited their organizational needs. That was what led to Vallimont, 22, being included despite being in the midst of a breakout year. Vallimont was drafted in the fifth round of the 2018 MLB Draft and has a 3.16 ERA in 105 1⁄3 innings pitched with 122 strikeouts this year between Class-A and High-A.
Craig Mish of Swings and Mishes was first to report on Friday that the Twins had interest in Romo. ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news that the deal was actually happening.
Thank you for reading, until next time!