The Miami Marlins made a big trade recently bringing in relief pitcher A.J. Puk in return for OF JJ Bleday. The trade looked interesting at the time, and it may already paying dividends now, despite some injury woes for Puk. The news are not very good for Bleday. Let's look into the situation and see how the trade looks for The Fish now.
The trade between the Miami Marlins and the Oakland Athletics looks even better now.
A.J. Puk is supposed to be a shutdown reliever for the Miami Marlins. He has a career 3.56 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 and is coming off a good season with the Oakland Athletics, in which he produced a 3.12 ERA/3.68 FIP with 10.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Puk is a high strikeout and low walk pitcher, which fits The Fish's pitching strategy. Puk has already had some injury issues during this Spring Training, but currently has a 0.00 ERA in a game and an inning. It's a short sample size but he did have 18.0 K/9 and 0.0 BB/9. Short sample but dominant outing.
A.J. Puk is a great acquisition for The Fish, who can hit free agency after the 2027 season, giving the team a long enough amount of years of team control. Puk should even be a closing candidate for The Fish this season. The best part about acquiring him is of course the return, which was basically just OF JJ Bleday.
Bleday has been terrible for the Miami Marlins, batting .167/.277/.309 in 65 games and 204 AB. It was a short sample size, but he batted .257/.311/.379 at A+ in 2019, .212/.323/.373 in AA in 2021 and finally .228/.365/.470 in AAA in 2022. It wasn't really impressive and it's not a big surprise that losing him doesn't hurt The Fish in any way.
Bleday is currently batting .286 in 28 Spring Training AB's, but he's not impressing the team enough and it's a very small sample size. The Oakland Athletics are likely to demote him to the Minor Leagues to start the season. I suspect that he won't give Oakland much value this season and will likely b eon his way out via a non-tender sooner rather than later.