Marlins trade Dylan Floro to Twins for Jorge López

Two teams squarely in playoff contention exchange right-handed relievers.

Two teams squarely in playoff contention exchange right-handed relievers.

Shortly after the conclusion of Wednesday’s game, the Miami Marlins swapped veteran right-handed relievers with the Minnesota Twins, sending Dylan Floro up north in exchange for Jorge López. The trade is official (first reported by Craig Mish of SportsGrid).

The Marlins had a clear need for right-handed bullpen help, but they’re giving up one of their best MLB righties in the process of addressing that, and López is actually having a worse 2023 season than Floro.

Floro was Miami’s best setup man in April. Since then, however, he’s had awful results on balls in play, making him untrustworthy in high-leverage situations. Overall, his three seasons for Miami were an unmitigated success (3.32 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 1.27 WHIP, 32 SV in 157.1 IP).

The Puerto Rican López struggled for much of his major league career—toggling between starting and relieving—prior to his 2022 breakout. He was among MLB’s elite bullpen arms from April-June of that season, ascending to the closer’s role with the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s shipped him to the Twins prior to last year’s trade deadline.

Similar to Floro, López was very successful earlier this year, posting a 0.00 earned run average in April. Things spiraled out of control from there, though. He allowed 15 earned runs in 15 innings from May through mid-June before being placed on the injured list to take care of his mental health. He made eight appearances between that IL stint and this transaction (8.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR).

Now in his age-30 season, López still has upper-90s fastball velocity and a deep pitch mix. His upside is significantly higher than Floro’s. However, his strikeout rate dropped dramatically after leaving Baltimore and has not recovered. Also, after posting one of the league’s highest groundball rates last year (58.0 GB%), he’s fallen relatively close to the league average (47.7 GB%).

Against right-handed batters, López relies heavily on his sinker and slider. Against lefties, he’s been going mostly with four-seamers, curveballs and changeups. All five offerings have generated multiple strikeouts for him in 2023. Of course, it’s possible that Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and the Marlins coaching staff will suggest changes to this approach given his recent struggles.

No doubt an important consideration for the Marlins: López has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining (Floro was a pending free agent). Floro ($4.2M) and López ($3.53M) are making comparable salaries in 2023.

With the trade deadline still six days away, the López acquisition will not preclude the Marlins from continuing to pursue relief help, Craig Mish tweets. Adding to the starting rotation and offense are also priorities.

More updates to come…

6 responses to “Marlins trade Dylan Floro to Twins for Jorge López”

  1. We aren’t winning it all this year. This move makes us younger. Floro was gone in 2 months. Lopez has more upside, is 3 yrs younger, and has a controllable year left. If he doesn’t work out, it costs us nothing. If it does, we could have next year’s closer. I thank Floro for his service, and appreciate that the Vesia trade isn’t dead.

  2. This is a perplexing move even if they were targeting RHP relief. Dylan Floro was the better pitcher in every single metric, either standard or advanced. Also, due note this closes the book on the Alex Vesia trade (that i never agreed with from the start), which I think the Dodgers won even with him turning into a pumpkin this year.

    I have no idea what the philosophy here is, outside of change of scenery for both pitchers. Maybe they are banking on Mel to help Jorge Lopez recapture his 2022 pre-Twins dominance? I was hoping for a trade that would help move the needle, but this isn’t it.

    1. The trade involving Vesia was about as even as it gets just going by regular season production. I suppose you could use Vesia’ pre-arb salary and postseason appearances as a tiebreaker that tilts it toward the Dodgers. Kyle Hurt has fun strikeout numbers in the minors, but odds are still stacked against him being a competent big leaguer.

  3. Leo Armbrister Avatar
    Leo Armbrister

    I agree this trade has a lot to do with Floro becoming a free agent next year. They have decided that they will not sign him to a free agent deal. This is not a net add. My take is that it is a net minus.

  4. My guess is that both teams thought the other teams player just needed a change of scenery. I was waiting to have FoF explain it to me but even their vaunted baseball experts cannot do so.

    1. I can explain why López was available and why his trade value has fallen considerably from where it was a year ago.

      I cannot explain why the Marlins are gambling on him in the middle of the season and trading from their active roster to do so. Easier to rehabilitate a pitcher like this in the offseason/spring training.

Leave a Comment