The Miami Marlins continue to add veteran outfielders to their roster this offseason. Several reports have the team coming to terms with Matt Joyce.
As Anthony Franco, “Joyce, 35, has had a series of up-and-down performances the past few seasons. A productive hitter for the Rays from 2010-14, Joyce was traded to the Angels prior to the 2015 season. He endured a miserable season in Anaheim before an offensive rebirth with the Pirates the following year.
Joyce helps the Marlins continue to add bats to their corner outfield spots. The team signed Corey Dickerson prior to the end of 2019 and before that, signed Matt Kemp to a minor league deal with an invitation to the team’s Spring Training Complex in Jupiter, Florida.
The Marlins should have depth in both right and left field, but the battle to start in centerfield will be one to watch as there are several candidates, with two potential minor league prospects having a say in the final few main roster spots.
What helps the Marlins with adding more possible lineup additions is the new 26-man roster, which will be used for the first time by all 30 MLB teams this season.
Joyce could be another low-risk, high reward additions the Marlins need to power out of the National League East basement.
“He continued that strong showing with the A’s in 2017, where he amassed a career-high 544 plate appearances of .243/.335/.473 hitting (117 wRC+),” Franco added. “After a down 2018 season in Oakland, though, Joyce was forced to settle for a pair of minor-league contracts last offseason.”
After remaining fairly silent the first two years of the team’s rebuilding project, the front office has aggressively pursued hitters to help change a culture with the MLB team. The Marlins only batted .241 as a team last season and hit 146 home runs.
“Joyce is almost exclusively a platoon player. He has just a .188/.272/.309 career line against left-handed pitching, and he totaled all of 26 plate appearances against southpaws last season,” Franco writes.
“He’s got a career .252/.354/.452 (122 wRC+) mark against right-handers and is coming off a season in which he was even better than that. Clearly, the Fish believe he can still serve as a quality hitter if put in the right role.”
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