MIAMI — The Marlins continued their offseason shopping by acquiring All-Star infielder Joey Wendle from the Rays for outfield prospect Kameron Misner, the team announced Tuesday night.
Wendle, who cannot become a free agent until after the 2023 season, provides versatility with above-average defense at second base, shortstop and third base, where he was named a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He also has seen action in left field. Wendle slashed .265/.319/.422 with 31 doubles, four triples and a career-high 11 homers in 136 games during his ’21 All-Star campaign, producing 3.8 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference. That made him the 100-win Rays’ third-most valuable player behind only second baseman Brandon Lowe and American League Rookie of the Year Randy Arozarena.
Across parts of six big league seasons, beginning in 2016 with the A’s, the 31-year-old Wendle has a 105 OPS+ in 436 career contests. He is eligible for arbitration for the second time, and MLB Trade Rumors projects his 2022 salary at $4 million.
To make room for Wendle on the 40-man roster, outfielder Lewis Brinson was designated for assignment. The Coral Springs High graduate was arbitration eligible for the first time and out of Minor League options. The top prospect from the Christian Yelich trade, Brinson hit .203/.248/.325 in 320 games across parts of four seasons for the hometown Marlins.
The addition of Wendle brings into question the future roles of third baseman Brian Anderson and super-utilityman Jon Berti. They also were tendered contracts by Miami later on Tuesday night. Anderson is coming off left shoulder surgery, while Berti never returned from a concussion he sustained on July 22.
Misner, Miami’s No. 21 prospect, was selected 35th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft. In his first full professional season, the 23-year-old earned a promotion from High-A Beloit to Double-A Pensacola, where he compiled an .878 OPS in a 14-game sample. At the Arizona Fall League, the toolsy Misner went deep on seven of his 16 hits for the championship-winning Mesa Solar Sox. Fellow 2019 Draft prospects and Blue Wahoos outfielders JJ Bleday and Peyton Burdick were ranked higher in Miami’s system.