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Marlins trade Kameron Misner for Joey Wendle

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Florida’s MLB teams have linked up for yet another trade.

Tampa Bay Rays v Miami Marlins
“Hey, we’re teammates now!” —Joey Wendle
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In a fascinating one-for-one swap, Craig Mish reports that the Marlins are trading toolsy outfield prospect Kameron Misner to the Rays for infielder Joey Wendle. To make room for Wendle on their 40-man roster, the Marlins (finally!) designated Lewis Brinson for assignment.

Baseball Trade Values considers it a “minor overpay” from Miami’s perspective.

In 2021 alone, these teams consummated four trades with one another. The Rays sent the Marlins John Curtiss in February, David Hess in July and Louis Head just a few weeks ago. Now this.

I love the idea of four players—Wendle, Brian Anderson, Miguel Rojas and Jazz Chisholm Jr.—combining to fill three spots at second base, third base and shortstop. First and foremost, Wendle serves as insurance at third in case Anderson has a significant setback in his rehab from shoulder surgery. Rojas smashes left-handed pitching, but Wendle would complement him nicely by getting some starts at short vs. righties. Mild improvement from Jazz would solidify him as the true everyday option at second base. However, not all player development is linear. Wendle can be the fallback plan at that position too in the event of struggles or injuries.

Joey Wendle’s MLB career stats
Joey Wendle’s MLB career stats
Baseball-Reference

No, I’m not going to refer to Wendle as an “All-Star.” He did earn a selection to the Midsummer Classic this season, but that was made possible by an uncharacteristic first-half power-hitting hot streak. Not a reasonable expectation to have for him moving forward.

With that being said, his versatility and reliable on-base skills will provide a significant boost.

Wendle is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn a $4 million salary in 2022, his second year of arbitration eligibility. He’ll have an additional year of club control beyond that.

On the other side of the deal, Misner has the upside to be even better than Wendle. The 2019 draft pick exhibited his plus power during the just-completed Arizona Fall League with seven home runs in 23 games. However, he also struck out in 33.3% of his plate appearances.

I hold Misner in higher regard than Kyle Nicolas or Connor Scott, the Marlins prospects traded to acquire Jacob Stallings. But there is significant bust potential due to his swing-and-miss habit. He will turn 24 years old in January and likely begin next season with Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate.

Much more to come...