The Oakland A’s announced Saturday evening that they acquired outfielder JJ Bleday from the Miami Marlins in-exchange for left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk. The trade comes as Spring Training is just around the corner. Full squad workouts are scheduled to begin Feb. 20.
JJ Bleday did not impress in his rookie season last year in Miami, batting only .167/.277/.309. But as a former 4th overall pick in the 2019 draft, the A’s are hoping Bleday will grow into his potential. Still only 25 years old, Bleday has an impressive arm and if he improves at the plate, could very well find himself on the A’s 40-man roster this season.
The Marlins will be hoping to unlock A.J. Puk’s potential to improve their pitching rotation. Former 6th overall pick in the 2016 draft, the left-handed was expected to shine more than he did in Oakland. Though he showed some improvement in the 2022 season, Puk still displayed issues with control, walking 23 batters in 66.1 innings pitched and 10 of these hit by pitch.
The trade appears to be a good deal for Oakland. The A’s already have plenty of depth in their pitching rotation but desperately need more production at the plate, having the worst batting in the league last season. If Bleday can show some progress in Spring Training, he could be a worthwhile addition to the major league roster in 2023.