Marlins deal Rojas to LA, get No. 15 prospect

January 12th, 2023

MIAMI -- The Marlins dealt longtime shortstop and clubhouse leader to the Dodgers for shortstop prospect on Wednesday night in a trade that addresses the organization's 2023 and future.

"It's always difficult to trade a player like this, of that magnitude, what he meant to the team on the field as well as off the field," general manager Kim Ng said on Zoom Thursday morning. "... When I did talk to him, I first expressed my gratitude to him and again, going back to all the things that he's done for the organization, how long he's been here, that I'll always see him as somebody who's definitely a part of this fabric here.

"Just to tell you, Miggy has always been a pro with me. I think he's been a pro with many, many people. So last night, he did not disappoint, either. I think it was probably a little bit difficult for him just because he had been here for so long and so many memories and what he's meant to the club. But he was just a pro and basically said something along the lines of, 'I've always wanted what was best for the Marlins, whether that's keeping me or trading me.' So, again, really appreciated him as a player and as a pro."

Rojas, who turns 34 on Feb. 24, came to the Marlins with Dee Strange-Gordon and Dan Haren in a December 2014 trade with the Dodgers. At the time, he was a 25-year-old defensive-minded reserve known for helping Clayton Kershaw preserve his June 18, 2014, no-hitter.

But Rojas improved at the plate, and he took over as the Marlins' everyday shortstop in 2017 when Adeiny Hechavarría was dealt to the Rays. A two-time Gold Glove Award finalist, Rojas slashed .265/.318/.366 with 136 doubles, 10 triples, 38 homers and 46 stolen bases in 870 games across eight seasons with the Marlins from 2015-22. As Miami's unofficial captain, he was part of the changing of ownership and bought into the rebuild the organization hoped would bring perennial contention. Rojas helped the Marlins end their 17-year postseason drought in 2020, homering in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Twice he signed extensions, the second of which runs through 2023.

During a down 2022 season -- with career lows across the board -- Rojas played through right wrist pain before finally undergoing debridement surgery to remove cartilage on Oct. 5. He was recently working out with his Marlins teammates at loanDepot park.

Rojas' departure leaves the Marlins with several internal options at shortstop: , and .

Chisholm, who developed as a shortstop, has flourished at second base (9 OAA, 7 DRS) since winning the starting job over Isan Díaz in Spring Training 2021, being named the National League’s All-Star starter in ’22. He is coming off of right meniscus surgery and a stress fracture in his lower back that limited him to just 60 games. Ng said the organization hasn't decided whether to keep Chisholm at second.

Like Rojas, Wendle is only under club control through 2023. He was a 2021 AL Gold Glove finalist at third base, but he has appeared at short 89 times in his career.

Segura, who was introduced on Wednesday morning, was slated to be the club's third baseman barring an infield shakeup. Though Segura has spent most of his career at shortstop, he has predominantly appeared at second base since 2021, with plus-16 OAA -- third most in MLB over that span. With Chisholm entrenched at second, it was expected Segura would slide over to the hot corner.

"I don't feel ready to necessarily anoint anybody with that," Ng said of the starting shortstop. "I still think that there's a lot of offseason left to be had, and we've still got to keep exploring how to make the club better. So not really willing to commit on that at this point."

In exchange for Rojas, the Marlins acquired the 24-year-old Amaya, who has yet to make his Major League debut, though Ng expects he will do so at some point in 2023. An 11th-round selection by the hometown Dodgers in the 2017 MLB Draft, he ranked 15th in their system and checks in at 13th for the Marlins, per MLB Pipeline. In '22, Amaya slashed .264/.370/.500 in 49 games at the Double-A level before receiving a promotion to Triple-A, where he batted .259/.368/.381 in 84 games.

According to MLB Pipeline's scouting report, Amaya had the best infield defense in the Dodgers' farm. He walked nearly as much as he struck out throughout his professional career until the early part of 2022, when he went away from his line-drive and getting-on-base approach.

Amaya is the second middle-infield prospect acquired via trade by the Marlins this offseason, joining Xavier Edwards. The Marlins also received No. 12 prospect Jordan Groshans from the Blue Jays last August.

"This was a trade for today as well as for the future," Ng said. "Jacob is a very interesting player. He's a plus defender. I think offensively, one of the things that was very attractive to us about him was his plate discipline, and his offensive game overall. This is something that we've been looking for. I think if you look at the last several infielders that we've acquired, it's a certain profile, and that is that they have in their past and we hope that they have in their future the ability to control the zone."