A minor trade is starting to backfire on the Marlins

A trade of a struggling OF for a reliever is going badly for The Fish
A.J. Puk
A.J. Puk / Rich Storry/GettyImages

A failed starting pitching experiment was a big story this season, as the Miami Marlins finally pulled A.J. Puk from it and placed him back in the bullpen. With the All-Star Game coming up, it hurts to know that the player that Puk was acquired for may be going there. I'm of course talking about JJ Bleday. How does this minor trade from February 2023 look now?

The trade between the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics doesn't look as good.

At the time of the trade, A.J. Puk was a pretty solid relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics. From 2019-2022 with the A's, he produced a 3.56 ERA/3.59 FIP, with 10.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 84 games and 91.0 innings pitched. On the flip side, JJ Bleday only played for the Miami Marlins in the 2022 season. The OF batted a poor .167/.277/.309, with 5 home runs and 16 RBI in 65 games and 204 AB.

In his first season with Oakland in 2023, Bleday batted a poor .195/.310/.355, with 10 home runs and 27 RBI in 82 games and 256 AB. He was worth an abysmal -0.6 WAR with The Fish last season, but a better 0.0 WAR with Oakland last season. This season however he's been a revelation, as he's batting .242/.326/.448, with 9 home runs and 24 RBI in 70 games and 248 AB. More impressively, he's worth a 1.8 WAR.

A.J. Puk went the other way.... he was pretty good for The Fish last season. He was even a closer for a bit and had accumulated 15 saves. Overall, he had a 3.97 ERA/.3.59 FIP, with 12.4 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 58 games and 56.2 innings pitched. He was worth 0.6 WAR for that season. This season in both starting and relieving, he has a 4.98 ERA/4.11 FIP, with 10.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 73 games and 81.1 innings pitched. He's been worth a terrible -0.9 WAR this season.

It's starting to look as if the Miami Marlins may have given up too early on JJ Bleday. I'm not impressed with his overall batting line, but things aren't looking good with how Puk is falling apart.

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