Marlins get Panik, Minors pitcher from Jays

June 29th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- With a month to go before the July 30 Trade Deadline, the Marlins completed a deal Tuesday that sets them up for both the present and future. Miami sent reliever and injured outfielder , along with cash considerations, to the Blue Jays in exchange for infielder and Minor League pitcher Andrew McInvale.

Moving Dickerson frees up  (Miami's No. 5 prospect) to continue playing every day in left field, where he's been starting in Dickerson's absence. Sánchez had compiled a .238/.289/.405 slash line with a .694 OPS in 11 games entering Tuesday night's game against the Phillies. Miami hopes to get a good look at prospects like Sánchez before 2022 as it moves forward in its build.

"Just in terms of our plan, it's as we've talked about in the past: This is also about our future, and we can't lose sight of that," general manager Kim Ng said. "I think, with the information now that we have about Jesús, and with him definitely having to be a part of our club next year, this had to feed into it."

Miami signed Dickerson, 32, to a two-year, $17.5 million contract on Jan. 7, 2020. In 114 games with the Marlins, he slashed .259/.316/.389. The eight-year veteran is currently in a walking boot after sustaining a left foot contusion and undergoing an MRI.

Dickerson's injury sped up the clock for Sánchez, who dominated at Triple-A Jacksonville in May. His quality at-bats in the Majors made the Marlins more comfortable in trading Dickerson.

"I think it speaks a lot, for him, that a club was willing to acquire him while he is still hurt," Ng said of Dickerson, who received interest from Toronto as far back as last offseason.

The trade also helps Miami's infield depth, which has been an issue for most of the season, especially when both shortstop Miguel Rojas and third baseman Brian Anderson were sidelined at the same time with injuries. The latter is still on the 60-day IL with left shoulder subluxation.

Acquiring the 30-year-old Panik adds a versatile piece to the roster. Across eight MLB seasons, he has appeared at first, second, third and shortstop. Panik won a World Series with the Giants in 2014, and he can become a free agent at the end of the season. In 2021, the left-handed-hitting Panik has a .644 OPS in 42 games. His arrival, which is expected on Wednesday, also allows young players like José Devers, 21, to continue developing in the Minors.

"Joe is a guy that has got some experience, he's got versatility," Ng said. "We think he's going to be a weapon for [manager Don Mattingly], whether it's in the infield while we still try and get through this time without Brian Anderson -- we think he'll be a great fit in addition to Jon Berti, in terms of filling in for Brian."

Cimber, whom the Marlins acquired from the Indians on Nov. 30, had been used been in the middle innings, recording at least four outs in seven of his 33 appearances. The 30-year-old sidearmer isn't due to become a free agent until 2024.

McInvale has pitched at both the High-A and Double-A levels in 2021. The 24-year-old righty posted a 2.18 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, with 28 strikeouts and 13 walks in 20 2/3 innings for Double-A New Hampshire. He was not among Toronto's Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Ng said McInvale has good velocity and movement on his fastball, which he pairs with a slider.

This is unlikely to be the last deal for the Marlins leading up to the Trade Deadline. Other expiring contracts include outfielder Starling Marte, first baseman Jesús Aguilar, closer Yimi García and Rojas. Ng was asked about the possibility of an extension for Marte and whether Rojas would be with the club through the end of the season.

Marte, whose $12.5 million club option was exercised this season, can become a free agent for the first time this winter. When Ng spoke in early June, the club had yet to speak with Marte about his future with the organization. That has changed.

"We have talked to Starling," Ng said. "I can tell you that we've expressed interest to him that we hope that he would be here for the foreseeable future."

Rojas has a club option for 2022, but it becomes a vesting option if he accumulates 500 plate appearances in '21.

"I think that it doesn't make sense to say what definitely is going to happen," Ng said of Rojas. "I would say, in terms of the odds, I would say the odds are very good [of him staying]."