By: Jeffery Romeu
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The Miami Marlins decided to trade Justin Bour to the Philadelphia Phillies for 22-year-old Minor League Pitcher McKenzie Mills. With the Phillies being a possible contender for a deep playoff run and the Marlins in a complete rebuild, it is no surprise both teams decided to pull the trigger for these players. Bour didn’t draw too much attention in the trade deadline since he has been criticized for his overall lack of athleticism and disappointing 2018 season compared to his breakout 2017. Mills was drafted in by the Washington Nationals in 2014 but has been on the move ever since. However, I believe neither team won this trade.
Bour has had a very poor 2018 season, partially due to multiple injuries and exposure to powerful pitching. Currently, Bour has .227/.347/.412 and is a below average fielder but has 19 homeruns and 54 RBIs. The Phillies traded for Bour to gain some power in order to prepare for the playoffs as they are the favorites to win the National League East Division. In the deal between the Marlins and the Phillies, the Marlins agreed to pay a portion of Bour’s $900,000 arbitration contract for this season and Mills complete salary. In recent trades the Marlins have received very high-quality prospects, but Mills may not be one of them.
While Mills was drafted by the Nationals, he was traded to the Phillies for Howie Kendrick and now to the Marlins. While many scouts see potential for Mills as a major league starter, he has struggled in the minors posting a 3.51 ERA with a strikeout rate of just above 20%. He is also not listed in the top 100 overall MLB Prospects and while he was listed at 22nd on the Phillies in the beginning of the season, he was unlisted when he was traded to the Marlins. If Mills succeeds in the majors, it’ll be a really nice surprise for the Marlins.
In addition to trading Bour, the Marlins promoted Minor League Player Rafael Ortega who has had a productive time in minors last year with the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles and this year with the Marlins. Kyle Barraclough has been placed on the 10-day DL with lower back stiffness, as a break may be the best for him as he has struggled heavily since the start of July. Finally, Lewis Brinson is likely to return to the Marlins in September and Garrett Cooper is expected to begin rehabbing for his return as well. The Marlins are in full tank mode now and will be experimenting with various minor league players to test their potential for the future.