Revisiting the Marlins-Dodgers 2014 winter meetings trade
The Los Angeles Dodgers were very busy during the 2014 Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego. It was the first season of the Andrew Friedman era and many of the team’s additions from that offseason event is still on the roster today.
Even the main star of one of the trades is back with the team. The Dodgers traded Matt Kemp and a backup catcher to the Padres for Yasmani Grandal and two pitchers. Both Kemp and Grandal are on the same Dodger lineup now.
While that trade perhaps generated the most buzz, perhaps the biggest trade for the Dodgers during that week was sending Dee Gordon, Miguel Rojas and Dan Haren to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Chris Hatcher, Kike Hernandez, Andrew Heaney and Austin Barnes.
To this day, the impact of that trade still resonates for both clubs. Heaney was instantly flipped to the Los Angeles Angels for Howie Kendrick but Barnes and Hernandez helped the Dodgers reach the World Series last year.
As for the Marlins, Haren was traded to the Chicago Cubs in July for a pair of minor league pitchers and retired after the season.
Gordon was the centerpiece of the trade and played his best seasons in Miami. He hit a career high 205 hits with 58 stolen bases in 2015. The 2016 season was ruined by an 80-game suspension for PEDs but he delivered. He bounced back with 201 hits and 60 stolen bases. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners after the 2017 season.
For the Marlins, the final piece of that trade is now crucial to their rebuilding process. Shortstop Miguel Rojas has been a reserve infielder who could play every position and hit for contact. Prior to this season, Rojas appeared in 123 games in place of Gordon during his suspension but 2017 was when his hit a career high .290 with a career high 272 at-bats.
With more playing time in his first season as a full-time starter, Rojas is establishing pop in his bat with seven home runs, two of them came on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. At 29 years of age, Rojas is showing rapid improvement with a constant role.
“I don’t know if it’s playing time with him or just continuing to get better,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He works so hard with his swing. He’s always been a guy who can defend. He’s probably out best defender in every infield position. So his improvement has been offensively. He worked really hard to make himself a tough out up there at the plate, a lot better hitter. So that’s been his huge improvement and I think that comes with playing time.”
About: Tony Capobianco
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