The Marlins struck the first of their three deals on Tuesday with just an hour left in the MLB trade deadline, acquiring Jake Burger from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for left-hander Jake Eder (Fish On First number three Marlins prospect). Craig Mish was the first with the news.
Burger, 27, is finally seeing successful results at the major league level after two Achilles injuries slowed down his career progress. This season, he is slashing .214/.279/.527/.806 with 25 home runs, 52 RBIs and a 115 wRC+ along with a 31.6% strikeout rate.
Burger’s low batting average and high strikeout percentage are atypical of Marlins hitters, but he continues to produce with this offensive profile.
“In terms of the profile, you always have an ideal that you’re shooting for, but you’re not necessarily gonna get that profile in every single hitter,” Kim Ng explained to the media during Tuesday’s game.
Now that Jean Segura was traded, third base belongs to Burger on most nights. His defense there is a concern—this season, he is sporting a -4 DRS—but his versatility is a plus. The White Sox also used him at first base and second base in small samples. The former top draft pick entered 2023 with less than a full year of MLB service time, so he’ll remain under club control through at least 2028.
What Miami will get in Burger is a big bat in the middle of the order who’ll generate runs. That is one of the big needs that was identified early on to avoid deflating losses like we saw against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Miami made a splash in the market with not only the big bat that hits for power, but a bat that has control for five years.
Miami gave up Jake Eder, who was making a return from a Tommy John injury and was seeing improvements after every start he made. Since moving back up to Double-A last month, Eder had a 3.94 ERA, 4.61 FIP, 11.53 K/9 and a 4.85 BB/9. His fastball velocity isn’t where it used to be, but the White Sox must be optimistic about him regaining it with more time.
Health permitting, Eder should be a major leaguer in 2024. The big question for the White Sox is whether he can stick as a starter. He’ll have a great opportunity to establish himself as they rebuild on the South Side. MLB Pipeline has Eder as the number four prospect in the White Sox organization.
For us over at Fish On First, the injured Dax Fulton becomes the top left-handed pitching prospect in the Marlins org, followed closely by new draft pick Thomas White.