Miguel Rojas, for the ones who don’t remember, was acquired from the Dodgers in what was at the time a big-time trade. The blockbuster involved 2B Dee Strange-Gordon, RHP Dan Haren and cash going to the Marlins along with Rojas for LHP Andrew Heaney, RHP Chris Hatcher, 2B Enrique Hernández and C Austin Barnes.
More than 7 years later, Rojas is still in Miami and playing some of the best baseball of his career.
Miggy Ro had himself a pretty normal 2021 season. He couldn’t replicate his great 2020 short season, but he played just as many games as 2019 (132) with improvements to his OBP, SLG, and OPS. He even set a new career high with 13 stolen bases. The only significant drop-off was to his batting average (down to .265).
Rojas received a 2-year, $10M extension which will keep him in Miami through 2023. By taking a relatively low salary, he’s giving the team their best possible chance to acquire more productive veterans to open a window of championship contention right now.
The 2022 expectations for Rojas are for him to stay consistent to who he’s been the past couple years as the Marlins’ everyday shortstop but with a higher batting average. He should also be a big candidate for the National League Gold Glove this season. Top defensive shortstops like Javy Báez and Trevor Story left the NL to sign with AL teams, leaving Francisco Lindor of the New York Mets and Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants as his main challengers.
When it comes to leadership, Rojas has all the qualities you could ever want. Everyone on the Marlins roster loves Miggy and always speak highly of him and his desire to win baseball games.
Particularly when the Marlins are facing left-handed starters, Rojas could bat 1st in the lineup. He quietly has put up amazing numbers against lefties in recent years. But now that the Marlins have added more depth to the order, Don Mattingly has experimented with dropping him as low as the No. 9 spot too.
The future for Rojas looks a little foggy after the contract expires. He will be 35 and current prospects like José Salas, Kahlil Watson, and Ian Lewis are potentially going to be major league ready by then. We could see him transition to more of a bench role before retiring as the longest-tenured Marlin ever.