MIAMI -- For the second consecutive offseason, the Marlins found a trade partner in the Twins to acquire a position player.
Gordon, who is the younger brother of former Marlins infielder Dee Strange-Gordon and a Florida native, was selected fifth overall in the 2014 MLB Draft and is a former top prospect. Since making his MLB debut in 2021, he has hit .250/.293/.392 with 42 doubles, six triples, 15 homers and 16 stolen bases in 243 games. After posting a 111 OPS+ during his first full season in '22, Gordon was limited to just 34 contests in '23 due to a right tibia fracture.
"I'm feeling really good," Gordon said via Zoom Tuesday. "My workouts, everything this offseason went really well. Everything is up to date, and I feel really strong. I feel really good. So I'm definitely looking forward to getting to camp and getting back into the swing of things every day."
Gordon, 28, has a similar skill set to Jon Berti, Xavier Edwards and offseason addition Vidal Bruján. He has appeared in center field (92 games) most during his big league career, followed by left field (85), second base (64) and shortstop (33). Miami previously leaned right-handed-hitting heavy, but its 40-man roster with MLB experience now includes three switch-hitters (Edwards, Bruján and Josh Bell) and four left-handed batters (Gordon, Luis Arraez, Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jesús Sánchez).
Like Edwards and Bruján, Gordon can be under club control for the foreseeable future: He cannot become a free agent until after the 2027 season. Gordon, who was arbitration eligible for the first time as a Super Two, will make $900,000 in 2024 after losing his arbitration hearing, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
"Coming over to Miami and just taking every single opportunity, every blessing that comes my way," Gordon said. "I don't know exactly what will happen or what position I will be in or where I will be playing, but I definitely can say that wherever I am and wherever I do play, I'm going to be to the best of my ability, because I don't really necessarily have a favorite position. I actually like just being on the field. I like playing the game. I like hitting."
Okert, 32, was one of four high-leverage southpaws in Miami's bullpen in 2023. Across 158 outings from ‘21-23, he posted a 123 ERA+ and a 1.17 WHIP. Last month, Okert agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.0625 million with the Marlins in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Both Gordon and Okert are out of Minor League options, so they'll need to make the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training (unless hurt and placed on the injured list).
In January 2023, the Marlins dealt right-hander Pablo López to the Twins for American League batting champion Arraez. It paid immediate dividends, as both clubs reached the postseason and both players appeared in the All-Star Game. López finished seventh in AL Cy Young Award voting, while Arraez won another batting title and Silver Slugger Award.