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Miami Marlins Acquire Jonathan Davis from Detroit Tigers

Miami adds some major league-ready outfield depth via trade in exchange for a recent draft pick.

Jonathan Davis #39 of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout and smiles prior to the Spring Training game against the Washington Nationals at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 8, 2023 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Nationals 2-1. Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

On Monday, the Miami Marlins announced their acquisition of outfielder Jonathan Davis from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for 2021 fifth-round draft pick Brady Allen.

Davis, who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2013 MLB Draft, spent most of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays as a AAAA guy. Davis' best season at the major league would be the shortened 2020 season where he slashed .259/.364/.444/.808 with one home run and six RBIs in 13 games played. Aside from that small sample size, he hasn’t played too much more at the highest level.

Davis was designated for assignment in 2021, spending time with the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and most recently the Tigers. In AAA Toledo, Davis was slashing .258/.336/.516/.852 with five home runs and 20 RBIs at the time of the trade. On defense, he was splitting time between all three outfield positions.

The move to acquire Davis was to simply have outfield depth in the minor leagues as at the moment. Injuries to Avisaíl García, Jesús Sánchez and Jazz Chisholm Jr. led to the recent call-ups of Xavier Edwards and Peyton Burdick.

If there is an encouraging sign with Davis, it is the last week of play where he is slashing .471/.526/.765/1.291 with one home run and two RBIs. This is something to take with a grain of salt considering his age (31) and the fact that he’s had many years of AAA experience.

In terms of what the Marlins gave up, they gave up an under-the-radar prospect in Brady Allen. Miami drafted Allen in the fifth round of the 2021 draft. Since then, it’s been nothing special, but thus far in High-A Beloit, Allen is slashing .256/.324/.440/764 with a 116 wRC+, which is way over the league average. The Sky Carp were mainly using him in right field.

Meanwhile in Low-A Jupiter, outfielder Jorge Caballero has been raking (.350/.441/.463, 157 wRC+). Maybe Allen’s departure creates room for him to be promoted.

It is a little weird that Miami gave up a 23-year-old prospect for a 31-year-old filler, but maybe Miami believes that Allen is ultimately going to become nothing more than a filler himself. It’s obviously hard to choose a winner in a minor league trade, but the Tigers did get the younger player who has many more years of club control. Time is on their side.

This transaction has no implications on the current 40-man roster.

Jonathan Davis will most likely be sent to AAA Jacksonville where he will stay until there’s a clear fit for him on the active roster. As for Allen, he hasn’t officially been assigned to an affiliate, but expect it to be the Tigers’ High-A team.