Moments before Pirates general manager Ben Cherington informed Jacob Stallings that he was being traded to the Marlins, Stallings received the heads up from teammate Bryan Reynolds, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
“Hey, did you get traded?” Reynolds asked.
“I don’t know,” Jacob replied. “Did I?”
Reynolds had seen Rosenthal’s tweet reporting the four-player deal. The news broke while Stallings was attending one of the final pre-lockout bargaining sessions between MLB owners and the players’ union (Stallings does not have his own Twitter account, anyway).
Ironically, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Reynolds himself was mentioned in the negotiations between these two teams at around the same point of the offseason. The star outfielder is not expected to be moved prior to Opening Day, but he has understandably drawn widespread interest.
The Stallings trade was announced on the evening of November 29 and the lockout went into effect just two days later. The veteran catcher estimates that he crammed conversations with “20-25 people in the Marlins organization” into that narrow window. Team staffers are not allowed to contact their own major league players during the work stoppage.
Despite the awkward circumstances, Stallings expects to be fully up to speed and ready to contribute to the Marlins when spring training eventually begins. Much of the credit for that goes to his father, Kevin Stallings.
As Rosenthal details, the Stallings family has a tradition of intensive offseason batting practice sessions in Nashville, Tennessee. The workouts initially happen two to three times per week in November, increasing in frequency as the pitchers and catchers report date approaches.
The high quality of Kevin’s BP pitching has enticed other pros who live in the surrounding area to join them. One of those hitters is Adam Duvall.
It’s a funny juxtaposition—Stallings and Duvall couldn’t be more different at the plate. Duvall had nearly as many home runs last season (38) as Stallings has in all 10 of his professional seasons combined (46). Meanwhile, Stallings holds the edge in plate discipline—he struck out half as many times as Duvall in 2021, and walked far more frequently despite being four inches taller (forced to protect a larger strike zone).
Duvall served as the Marlins’ main cleanup hitter in 2021 while adding Gold Glove-winning outfield defense. Miami made a perplexing decision to trade him to the Braves on July 30 for Alex Jackson. Even so, Duvall enjoyed his Marlins tenure, Rosenthal reports, and helped Stallings get acquainted with his new club.
Duvall went a step further to assist with the transition by selling his South Florida home to Stallings. The Marlins acquired the 32-year-old with three seasons of club control remaining. Plus, their prospect pipeline is thin on starting-caliber catchers. Stallings is understandably optimistic about lasting longer with the Fish than Duvall did.