MIAMI -- On Friday, the Marlins parted with another core player from the past few years to add another prospect who projects to help them in the future.First baseman Justin Bour, who paced the club with 19 home runs, was dealt to the Phillies, along with cash, for left-handed pitching
MIAMI -- On Friday, the Marlins parted with another core player from the past few years to add another prospect who projects to help them in the future.
First baseman Justin Bour, who paced the club with 19 home runs, was dealt to the Phillies, along with cash, for left-handed pitching prospect McKenzie Mills, who will join the rotation at Double-A Jacksonville.
"We've been out front in talking about the type of players we feel fit organizationally for us moving forward," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We like athletes. We like players who are going to impact the game offensively, defensively, [with] base running. Good athletes. With trading Justin, we saw an opportunity to add a quality left-handed, upper-level starting pitcher."
Additionally, the Marlins selected the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega from Triple-A New Orleans, and placed reliever Kyle Barraclough on the 10-day disabled list with low-back stiffness. Right-hander Drew Rucinski (right groin strain) was reinstated from the DL.
Bour was traded in the revocable waiver period, and he is eligible to play for the Phillies if they reach the postseason. Philadelphia claimed Bour on waivers, and the clubs were able to complete the trade.
"I was getting ready to start my day, and I got called and they let me know I had been traded," Bour said. "That's part of baseball. You understand at any time you can be somewhere else. You just take it in stride."
In his first season of arbitration, Bour is making $3.4 million. The Marlins are paying roughly half his remaining salary.
Before leaving Marlins Park on Friday, Bour expressed his thanks to the Marlins, who selected him in a Minor League phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. Bour made his MLB debut with the Marlins in '14 and has been the regular first baseman since.
"Forever thankful," Bour said. "Triple-A Rule 5. Not a lot of guys get a chance. The Marlins took a shot at me. I was able to make the most of it. I'm very grateful to the city of Miami, the organization and all those guys that gave me the chance to play this game. I'm continuing on. I wish them nothing but the best. I wanted to be part of the future here, but I'm heading elsewhere."
Mills, 22, was an 18th round pick of the Nationals in 2014. The lefty has a mid-90s fastball and posted a 3.51 ERA in 20 games, with 16 starts in Class A Advanced ball.
Subtracting Bour from the lineup removes Miami's biggest home run threat. The left-handed hitting slugger and fan favorite had a slash line of .227/.347/.412 with 19 home runs and 54 RBIs.
Marlins right fielder Brian Anderson credits Bour with helping him transition to the big leagues.
"J.B. is a guy who took me under his wing, especially at the start of the season," Anderson said. "He helped me out. Got me a suit. My first big league suit and all that. I'm extremely happy for him.
"He's going to a place where they're extremely competitive right now. They're in the race. They're getting a good left-handed bat and a great guy. And we're excited for our future as well, with some of the moves that have been made. All we can do is what we can control, and what our effort is, going into these games."
In the short term, the Marlins will move Derek Dietrich from left field to first base. The Marlins plan on platooning Ortega and Isaac Galloway in left.
Rookie Magneuris Sierra is expected to see more time in the leadoff spot, and in the next few weeks, Miami's roster should be returning outfielder Lewis Brinson (right hip bruise) and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper (right wrist) from the disabled list.
Brinson is taking batting practice and doing outfield drills. He may be ready to go on rehab assignment as early as next week. Cooper is hitting in the cage and doing fielding drills but is a little further behind Brinson. When healthy, Cooper will get plenty of chances at first base.
"I think for the short term it's Dietz," Mattingly said of Dietrich at first. "I think that's maybe his best position. So, we're trying to get him back in the dirt and back where he can be a better defender. We get a little better defensively in the outfield, we get a little more speed. We get a guy [Ortega] who can do some things on the bases. So, the dynamic continues to change with our lineup."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.