The Marlins were aggressive leading up to the 2023 MLB trade deadline, swinging five different deals. Three of those trades came on deadline day. Dylan Floro, Garrett Cooper, Jean Segura, and Sean Reynolds were sent out from the 40-man roster, while Jorge López, David Robertson, Jake Burger, Josh Bell, and Ryan Weathers were brought in.
All of the acquisitions except for Weathers were present for Miami’s road series in Cincinnati. Fish On First talked to them about the complications of switching teams midseason.
Jake Burger has been pretty happy to leave a less-than-ideal situation on the South Side of Chicago and is ready to learn from a clubhouse that’s found winning ways this season.
“You know, you have to learn a lot of names and a lot of new people and just become a sponge,” Burger said. “I’m enjoying it, though. It’s a good group of guys to be around.”
Burger’s familiarity with the guys he faced in Triple-A has helped. Playing for the White Sox affiliate, the Charlotte Knights in 2021 and 2022, he faced a lot of his now-Marlins teammates when they were on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. “I was telling Nick Fortes this, but you can always tell who the good guys are on the other team, but you don’t really know until you meet them. It’s safe to say, my assumptions were correct,” Burger said.
Josh Bell is no stranger to moving teams at this stage in his career. He’s been with the Pirates, Nationals, Padres, and Guardians, a journey that included a 2022 deadline day trade. One guy who has helped Bell adjust quickly is his former Pirates teammate Jacob Stallings.
Bell stated, “I played with Stallings from 2012 to 2020, so I’ve known him for a really long time. It was really cool to be reunited with him and get back in a playoff spot.”
Bell’s case was a little different from Burger’s. While they were both traded from the AL Central, Bell’s former squad, the Guardians, were in the hunt as well. “Getting traded from Cleveland was kind of weird because they’re in the hunt too, but I’m happy to still be competing and it’s an awesome opportunity,” Bell said.
Bell has family ties to the Miami area as well, as he said his sister went to the University of Miami for college. He’s always enjoyed visiting the city of Miami and can’t wait to spend more time there during the rest of the season.
Moving to the bullpen, Jorge López was yet another player traded from the AL Central to Miami. Similarly to Bell, López was on a competing Twins team still in the hunt. The trade was a surprise to him, but he’s been trying to adjust well.
“Most importantly to me to get to know these guys is just being transparent. Trying to know each other and trying to see what works and what doesn’t,” López stated.
The Marlins bullpen is a tightly-knit group. López has been enamored by the talent of Miami’s relievers, stating “These guys are good. They’ve been doing a really good job. We know what they can do. We know we have really good stuff to compete and take care of each other.”
Lastly, David Robertson was the most accomplished player the Marlins acquired at the deadline. He was arguably the best reliever dealt, but was surprisingly traded within the NL East, coming from the disappointing New York Mets.
“It’s kind of an unexpected trade to get sent in division” Robertson said. “But obviously, the Marlins have a good team and they’re trying to make something down here. So, I’m trying to make the adjustment and get used to playing for another new team having now played for four teams in two years.”
Robertson has been impressed with the Miami catching tandem so far, having worked with both Stallings and Nick Fortes already. Robertson stated, “They both receive the ball extremely well. I haven’t had a lot of great outings this year but hopefully I get more opportunities.” (Robertson and I talked prior to Tuesday’s matchup against the Reds; he proceeded to get back-to-back saves to close out a much-needed series win for the Marlins.)
These four players have found their roles early on for a team competing for a Wild Card spot. Their veteran leadership, particularly Bell and Robertson, will help guide a young team hoping to play baseball in October. The moves made sense on paper, but now it’s time to find out how the new-look Marlins roster performs on the field. Comfort off the field plays a major role in that.
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