And the offseason is underway. The Rays lose to the Phillies in 5 games, a bit of a shocker in my opinion, and with that, the offseason is official. Now the Marlins have to look to find a way to compete against the new world champions, the Phillies. Just raises the stakes a bit.
The Marlins had been long rumored to deal Mike Jacobs and today they traded away the left handed power hitting firstbaseman to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Leo Nunez.
Jacobs was acquired from the Mets for Carlos Delgado. A converted catcher, Jacobs has shown at times manageable defense while at the same time blossoming into a pretty impressive power hitter. He was a member of the historic infield that hit over 30 home runs at each position, putting up 32 himself (once every 14.9 ABs) while also driving in 93 RBIs. His average, .247, and his OBP, .299, were what ultimately drove the Marlins to go in a new direction. That and the Marlins feel they have depth at the corner spots which makes Jacobs expendable.
In Nunez, the Marlins are getting a reliever for the bullpen that could be a late inning reliever and a possible closer candidate. The 22 year old struck out 26 in 48.1 IP, walking 15 and giving up 45 hits. He was 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA. His velocity seems pretty good, reaching into the solid 90’s.
Still, early analysis is that the Royals got the better end of this deal. The Marlins were already looking to ship Jacobs and in fact, this may have been a deal that was pretty much done around mid-season as we come to find out the Royals were very interested in Jacobs back then as well. The Marlins had to make a deal because they were not planning on going to arbitration with Jacobs and paying him what is expected to be around $3.5M for this next season. With his low OBP, and the generally high strike out ratio of the Marlins offense, some re-tooling is needed by the Marlins who are looking to get back to speed and defense to create more balance.