Designated for assignment by the Marlins earlier in the week, Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham have been bundled together and traded to the Mets in exchange for prospect Franklin Sánchez and a player to be named later or cash.
Both outgoing pitchers had relatively long tenures with the Marlins organization. Hernandez arrived via the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, while Brigham was dealt to Miami by the Dodgers in a 2015 midseason trade. Coincidentally, they both pitched in the 2022 regular season finale. They were due raises in arbitrations entering 2023—estimated salaries of $1.8 million and $800,000, respectively, according to Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors.
The Marlins didn’t have much leverage in this situation with their 40-man roster over capacity, so they are probably satisfied to have received something in return.
The 22-year-old Sánchez has posted a 4.97 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 26.8% strikeout rate in his minor league career, including 15 hit by pitches and 22 wild pitches in 63 1⁄3 innings. He also participated in the Arizona Fall League (11.05 ERA, 2.32 WHIP, 12.8 K% in 7.1 IP). Clearly, control is a concern. He made seven starts at Low-A in 2022, but it’s only a matter of time until he focuses fully on relief work.
Sánchez’s fastball velocity sits in the high 90s and occasionally cracks triple digits. The 6-foot-6 righty gets elite extension off the mound, giving opposing batters even less time to react. His pitch usage is approximately 60% fastballs/40% sliders. I project him to begin next season with High-A Beloit.
It could take up to six months to find out the identity of the PTBNL (if there even is one).
The Mets previously came to the Fish for pitching depth two winters ago with the acquisitions of Jordan Yamamoto and Stephen Tarpley (in separate transactions). That pair combined to make only three MLB appearances for New York, however. They’ll be expecting more impact out of Hernandez and Brigham.