The Marlins traded pitching prospects Santiago Suárez and Marcus Johnson to the Rays on Tuesday in exchange for infielder Xavier Edwards and righty reliever JT Chargois, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The trade is now official.
The 38th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of North Broward Prep, Edwards has a .300/.373/.379 slash line in 342 minor league games. He played all of 2022 for Triple-A Durham, hitting a career-high five home runs but putting together a disappointing season overall (.246/.328/.350). Even so, his 18.8% strikeout rate was far better than league average. Edwards is a switch-hitter.
Here is new Marlin Xavier Edwards homering off of Max Meyer in Triple-A earlier this year pic.twitter.com/4mOzseZj92— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) November 15, 2022
Here is Baseball America’s midseason scouting report on Edwards, who ranked seventh on their Rays top prospects list at the time:
Edwards is as comfortable with two strikes as most hitters are when they are ahead in the count because he knows he can connect with almost anything. But Edwards also scares no pitcher because he subsists on a diet of singles—just 17% of his career hits have gone for extra bases. He will need to drive the ball more consistently to have a successful MLB career. Edwards didn’t play a game at shortstop in 2021 and now projects as purely a second baseman. He’s an above-average defender there thanks to quick hands and feet. Once a top-of-the-scale runner, Edwards now more regularly turns in plus times although he will turn in a plus-plus time at his best. Edwards wasn’t nearly the threat on the bases he’d shown in the past, but an oblique injury may have played a role in that.
There are several similarities between him and José Devers, who was designated for assignment to make room for Edwards on the 40-man roster.
Edwards and new Marlins manager Skip Schumaker are already familiar with each other. Schumaker was first base coach of the Padres in 2019 when Edwards got his first taste of major league spring training.
The journeyman Chargois has major league experience with the Twins, Dodgers, Mariners and Rays. He owns a career 3.54 earned run average in 152 2⁄3 innings pitched, pairing a mid-90s sinker with a high-80s slider.
Chargois is potentially under club control through 2025, but has used up his minor league options. A left oblique injury sidelined him for the majority of the 2022 campaign. He turns 32 years old in December.
Suárez and Johnson lasted only a few months in the Marlins org. A 17-year-old from Venezuela, Suárez was signed via international free agency on June 1. Johnson was the club’s fourth-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
During the Kim Ng era, Tampa Bay has been by far Miami’s favorite trade partner. In all five of the deals they’ve consummated since 2021, the Marlins have used prospect depth to acquire big leaguers (or soon-to-be big leaguers).
As usual, Tampa Bay's roster crunch forces them to take less than market value on trades around Rule 5 protection day.— Baseball Trade Values (@BaseballValues) November 15, 2022
Additionally, Edwards' stock fell significantly in 2022, and our prospect sources might not all have caught up.