According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Angels are one of three teams that have “mentioned” Miami Marlins’ 2b Dee Gordon as a potential trade acquisition. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals are the other two teams having checked in, though the Blue Jays (41-47) look like sellers and Royals 2b Whit Merrifield has well surpassed expectations, recording 1.9 bWAR already.
The Marlins are in sell mode now, with most of the talks revolving around the relievers, especially closer A.J. Ramos and set-up man David Phelps. But they would like to extend their sale to include some of their high-priced talent, with Gordon prime among the sale pieces.
Gordon, 29, is making $7.8 million this season and has three guaranteed years and $37.9 million remaining on his deal, plus a $14 million team option with a $1 million buy-out for the 2021 season. According to Cot’s Baseball contracts, that option guarantees with 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 from 2019-20.
The Marlins would presumably have to offset some of Gordon’s deal, as he hasn’t performed up the 2015 standards that led to his long-term contract. He is, however, a prototype leadoff hitter and fine-fielding second baseman, as Marlins people point out.
As Heyman mentions, Gordon is under control until 2020 with an average salary of $10 million, as well as a 2021 option for $14 million.
Gordon broke out in a big way in 2015, voted to the All-Star Game, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and taking home 16th place in the NL MVP voting. He has played well to date, slashing .295/.342/.358, playing good defense at second base, and wreaking havoc on the bases with his excellent speed. However, it would be disingenuous not to mention his nightmarish 2016 in which he had a 72 wRC+ (28% worse than league average) and got suspended 80 games for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The obvious caveat to this? Should the Marlins opt to shed salary commitments as they march towards their team’s sale, the Angels could opt to eat the salary and give up minimal prospects in return in exchange for a long-term answer at second base and another spark plug at the top of the lineup.
Stay tuned; a Dee Gordon — Cameron Maybin tandem at the top of the order would be a lot of fun to watch.