Marlins Designate Jesus Aguilar For Assignment


The Marlins have appointed the first baseman Jesus Aguilar for assignment, general manager Kim Ng announced to reporters (Twitter link via Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald).

Now that the trade deadline has passed, the only way for the Marlins is to put Aguilar, 32, on waivers and hope another club claims him. However, given the $7.5 million guarantee on the struggling Aguilar’s 2022 contract, that seems pretty unlikely. While Aguilar’s deal includes a reciprocal option for the 2023 campaign, reciprocal options are rarely exercised, so teams will consider him a pure rental.

About $1.6 million remains to be paid out on Aguilar’s contract, plus a $200,000 buyout on that option. It’s hard to imagine a contending club losing $1.8 million to claim a player who only scored .236/.286. pause. The overwhelming odds are that Aguilar will lift waivers and become a free agent – either by being released or by turning down an outright assignment.

At that point, Aguilar would be free to sign a new contract with any team, and the new team would only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the MLB roster. The reciprocal option would no longer be a consideration as he will be released from the contract containing that clause. Aguilar would be considered for a new club after the season, as long as he is signed (or, much less likely, claimed) before September 1.

While a team is unlikely to stand a chance of signing Aguilar at the expense of his remaining salary, it is obvious that several clubs would have an interest in signing him at the league’s pro rata minimum. Aguilar wasn’t himself in 2022, but in 2020-21 he gave Miami a combined 726 at bats from a .265/.336/.458 production, hitting 30 home runs and 33 doubles striking out 18.3% to a solid 9 .5% walking speed.

Aguilar doesn’t have a significant division of the pack, so at best he’s an above-average, everyday slugger with 30 homer pops… he just wasn’t close to his best in 2022. His 23.2% strikeout rate is the highest it has been since 2018 and Aguilar has seen his average exit speed (87.7 mph) and hit hard (35.4%) drop to the worst level of his career in 2022.

Aguilar has generally come out as a solid defender at first base, but has seen his typical solid numbers take a step back in 2022, clocking in at -4 Defended Points Saved, an Ultimate Zone Rating of -1.4 and zero outs above average. He is for the most part limited to first or designated hitter, the only exception being a few emergency appearances over the diamond in the hot corner over the years (27 career innings, including five in 2022).

Assuming Aguilar does indeed lift waivers, teams that need offensive help at first base or designated batter — or just a right-handed bat off the bench — might take a cheap look in hopes of turning his season around. For the Marlins they will use the rest of the year to give a bigger look to Lewin Diaz, which was once among the organization’s top prospects, but has seen its stock plummet in recent seasons. Star Garrett Cooper could also see more time on first base once he returns from the injured list.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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