The Miami Marlins and the Oakland Athletics made a trade over the weekend. The Fish traded OF JJ Bleday for RP A.J. Puk. It looks like a great trade for The Fish as we improve the bullpen while also trading an expendable player in order to acquire him. It's certainly better than some extensions and something to get us ready for the season other than the WBC. Let's analyze this trade and see if it's as good as it looks like at the moment. Overall, the goal was to improve the Miami Marlins bullpen and I believe that the goal was achieved by this trade.
The Miami Marlins traded to improve the bullpen.
JJ Bleday was an expendable piece for the Miami Marlins. The 24 year old batted .257/.311/.379 in A+ with 3 home runs and 19 RBI in 38 games and 140 AB. It wasn't the most impressive performance but it earned him a promotion to AA. In AA in 2021 (he missed the 2020 season along with other Minor Leaguers due to COVID-19), he batted .212/.323/.373 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 110 games and 397 AB. In AAA in 2022 he batted .228/.365/.470 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 85 games and 302 AB.
JJ Bleday wasn't impressive in the Minor Leagues, but received a call-up to the Major League team in 2022. He then batted .167/.277/.309 with 5 home runs and 16 RBI in 65 games and 204 AB. He was worth a paltry -0.5 WAR for that performance. I can't say that Bleday will really be missed after that performance to be honest. He was projected to be a bench/Minor League depth player.
What about A.J. Puk? Puk spent his entire career to date in Oakland. He debuted in 2019 with a 3.18 ERA/3.39 FIP with 10.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 10 games and 11.1 innings pitched. After missing the 2020 season due to injury, he resurfaced in 2021 with a 6.08 ERA/3.32 FIP with 10.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9. In 2022, the 27 year old delivered a 3.12 ERA/3.68 FIP with 10.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 62 games and 66.1 innings pitched. It's clear that he's a high strikeout pitcher with good results. The only knock on him has been a high percentage of walks.
I think it's pretty clear that the Miami Marlins won this trade. A.J. Puk improves the bullpen and JJ Bleday won't be missed