Marlins DFA No. 9 prospect Amaya

Club makes move to free up 40-man spot after acquiring Rivera from D-backs

April 2nd, 2024

MIAMI – In a surprising move, the Marlins on Tuesday afternoon designated for assignment No. 9 prospect , who was once considered an option to be the franchise’s shortstop of the future.

Amaya was the corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster following the acquisition of infielder Emmanuel Rivera from the Diamondbacks for cash.

If the player is claimed off waivers by another club, he is immediately added to that team's 40-man roster, at which point he can be optioned to the Minor Leagues (if he has options remaining) or assigned to his new team's 26-man roster.

The 25-year-old Amaya came over to the Marlins in the Miguel Rojas trade with the Dodgers on Jan. 11, 2023, after setting a career high with 17 homers between the Double-A and Triple-A levels of Los Angeles’ system in 2022. Miami elected to use veterans Joey Wendle, Jon Berti and Garrett Hampson at shortstop last season, though Amaya did make his big league debut and went 2-for-9 in four games.

Despite the departure of that trio, Amaya fell down the organizational depth chart when the Marlins signed veteran Tim Anderson and Minor Leaguer Tristan Gray. They also acquired Vidal Bruján from the Rays and Nick Gordon from the Twins.

Amaya was part of the second round of camp cuts after going 1-for-16 with one RBI, one caught stealing, one walk and seven strikeouts in 10 Grapefruit League games, though he did start at shortstop in the Spring Breakout exhibition.

In three games for Triple-A Jacksonville this season, Amaya hit 2-for-11 with two RBIs and two strikeouts. He started twice at shortstop and once at second base, committing one error and turning one double play in 18 innings at short.

According to MLB Pipeline’s scouting report, Amaya was arguably the best defensive shortstop in the upper levels of the organization -- including the Majors -- because of his smooth actions, quick and sure hands, a solid and accurate arm and a good internal clock. A right-handed hitter, Amaya was at his best when he kept his stroke under control and focused on getting on base. He would have lapses hunting home runs and chasing pitches.

Rivera, 27, hasn't appeared in the Majors this season and has a .684 OPS in 217 MLB games from 2021-23. He can play either of the corner infield positions.

Josh Bell is Miami’s primary first baseman, and primary third baseman Jake Burger has started at first when Bell has served as the designated hitter. Bruján and Jonah Bride, who started at the hot corner on Tuesday, are the only others to appear at third this season. Bruján and Rivera do not have Minor League options remaining, though Bride does.

“Every time we faced [Rivera], he killed us against lefties (.739 career OPS vs. LHP),” manager Skip Schumaker said, “so anticipate him being one of those options.”