The Marlins have made their first of what could be many moves ahead of the July 30 trade deadline. As reported by Craig Mish, Jon Heyman and Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic on Tuesday, the Marlins and Blue Jays completed the following trade:
- Marlins get INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale
- Blue Jays get OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Adam Cimber and $2.65M cash considerations
The Miami Marlins today have acquired INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Adam Cimber and cash considerations.— Marlins Communications (@MarlinsComms) June 29, 2021
Both Dickerson and Panik are former MLB All-Stars and Gold Glove award winners! However, they’re several years removed from those career peaks.
The 32-year-old Dickerson is currently on the injured list with a left foot contusion and doubtful to be major league-ready until after the All-Star break. Prior to that, he had been approximately a league-average hitter in parts of two Marlins seasons (.261/.318/.391, 99 wRC+ in 435 PA).
Dickerson is earning a $9.5 million salary in the final year of his back-loaded free agent contract—approximately $4.9 million is still owed to him through season’s end. Mish reports that the Blue Jays will take responsibility for “the majority” of that.
Panik was a longtime Giant who contributed to their 2014 World Series championship as a rookie. He has always been a great hit-for-contact guy (career 9.9 K%, 11.5 K% in 2021). But overall, his production has been roughly replacement level the last four seasons. He signed a minor league deal with the Jays last winter and cracked their Opening Day roster as a utility infielder (primarily second base and third base, plus some spot starts at first base). He is hitting .246/.293/.351 with a .644 OPS and 76 wRC+ this year.
The Marlins see Panik as a way to help the development of some of the young infielders they have in their system. Guys like Lewin Diaz and José Devers have been called up because of a flurry of injuries, despite not necessarily being MLB ready. General Manager Kim Ng said picking up Panik will allow the Marlins to keep guys working on their development in the minor leagues.
“When we bring guys up we want it to be when they’re ready,” Ng said.
Like Dickerson, Panik has enough MLB service time to test free agency after the season ends. In the meantime, he could possibly platoon with Jon Berti at the hot corner. Even on days when he isn’t in the starting lineup, he projects to be a better pinch-hitting option than any of the other lefty bats who the Marlins have carried on the bench in 2021. That’s notable for a team that has struggled so much to execute offensively in close games.
Cimber is arguably the “best” veteran player involved in this transaction. Toronto’s bullpen has stunk for most of this season, so they’ll certainly find value in the submariner who owns a 2.88 ERA and 3.32 FIP in 34.1 IP. The 30-year-old righty didn’t surrender any home runs during his tenure with the Fish. He’ll be controllable via arbitration through the 2024 campaign.
Also a right-hander, the 24-year-old Andrew McInvale was Toronto’s 37th-round draft pick in 2019. He’s been effective though a bit on the wild side for their Double-A affiliate this season (2.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 28 K in 20.2 IP).
Cutting ties with Dickerson is a vote of confidence in rookie Jesús Sánchez who’s been the Marlins’ everyday left fielder in recent weeks. The club wants to continues giving him that consistent playing time to properly evaluate him.
Ng said the team was rushed into bringing up Sánchez due to Dickerson’s injury, but the team is happy with what they have seen from him so far.
“When we saw how he was handling [the major leagues],” said Ng, “we felt more comfortable in trading Corey Dickerson.”
Manager Don Mattingly has spoken highly of Sánchez since he’s been up and the quality of his at-bats. He believes allowing him to be the everyday left fielder this gives the Marlins the opportunity to find out if he’s “the guy.”
“He’s shown himself to the point where he deserves to play,” Mattingly said.
The Marlins selected the contract of LHP Steven Okert to fill the hole on both the 26-man and 40-man rosters left by the trade.