The Marlins made a major trade Thursday, but not the one everyone has been waiting on.
With NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton's future still uncertain, Miami sent second baseman Dee Gordon to the Mariners, sources told the Sun Sentinel. The package of players coming to South Florida in the deal was not immediately known.
This is the first in what is expected to be a series of payroll-slashing moves by the Marlins under CEO Derek Jeter and the new ownership group. The team reportedly has tentative deals with the Giants and Cardinals for Stanton, who needs to waive his no-trade clause to go to any team.
Gordon, who is set to make $10.8 million 2018 and about $38 million over the next three years, was considered a primary candidate to be traded as the Marlins seek to cut payroll to the reported neighborhood of $90 million.
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The Mariners will pick up all of what's left of Gordon's contract, a source said.
Gordon's time in South Florida was up and down. In his first season, an All-Star 2015 campaign, he won a batting title, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. The Marlins, under previous owner Jeffrey Loria, rewarded him with a five-year, $50 million contract.
But an 80-game suspension for a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug cost him about half of 2016. Gordon never settled in that year, batting .268 with a .305 OBP and .335 slugging percentage.
Gordon bounced back this past season, leading the majors in steals (60) while hitting .308 and getting on base at a .341 clip – restoring his trade value and thus making a salary-shedding move possible for the Marlins' new regime.
The Mariners, who have perennial All-Star Robinson Cano at second, plan on playing the speedy Gordon in center field, according to multiple reports.