As the minutes ticked closer to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, the Marlins were the only team in the majors that hadn’t pulled off a deal in July.
All of that changed in the frenzied final moments.
With only hours remaining before the deadline, the Marlins dealt two of their veterans, sending reliever Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks and outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for two minor-league prospects and international bonus pool money.
Neither trade came as a surprise. Both Ziegler and Maybin are set to become free agents after the season and neither veteran fit in the Marlins’ future plans.
Both deals were made “to maximize the value of two expiring contracts,” said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.
The Marlins not only received a mid-level prospect from Arizona in reliever Tommy Eveld, but shed about $3 million in payroll money still owed to Ziegler. For Maybin, the Marlins received minor-league middle infielder Bryson Brigman and an undisclosed amount of international pool money, which can be used to sign amateurs from countries outside the United States. The Mariners will pick up the rest of Maybin’s remaining salary, or about $1 million.
Eveld, who was born in Coral Springs, is a 24-year-old right-hander out of Tampa’s Jesuit High School and the University of South Florida. He was a 9th-round draft pick for the Diamondbacks in 2016. The 24-year-old pitcher has gone 6-8 with a 1.96 ERA and 34 saves in 100 career minor-league relief appearances and was recently promoted to the Diamondbacks’ Double A affiliate.
He will be assigned to Double A Jacksonville.
“In Tommy, we saw a power right-handed arm that we think will pitch high-leverage, meaningful innings at the back end of our bullpen at some point,” Hill said.
Brigman was a third-round draft pick of the Mariners in 2016 and is hitting .304 with a .373 on-base percentage for Seattle’s High-A affiliate. Hill said he would be assigned to Single A Jupiter and described him as a “middle of the field talent.”
While the Marlins dealt Ziegler and Maybin, they held on to controllable relievers Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider, as well as All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, all of whom were the subject of trade rumors over the past month.
The Marlins are expected to offer Realmuto a long-term contract extension at some point, but Hill said that time isn’t now.
“I think at the appropriate time it’s something we will discuss with ownership,” Hill said.
The Marlins called up relievers Tayron Guerrero and Jarlin Garcia to fill the roster spots of Ziegler and Maybin. They also optioned reliever Ben Meyer to Triple A New Orleans and selected the contract of journeyman minor-league outfielder Isaac Galloway, who has spent 10 years in the Marlins’ farm system without ever reaching the big leagues.
Manager Don Mattingly said Guerrero would be used in “high-leverage, late-inning situations” while Garcia would fill the role of a “bridge” reliever. Mattingly described Galloway as an exceptional defender, “maybe the best defender in our system,” and could see some starts in left field while rookie Magneuris Sierra continues to play center on an everyday basis.
“He really is a Cam (Maybin) type without the experience,” Mattingly said.