A Trade In Retrospective: Marlins Acquire Dee Gordon

Posted by Noah Wright on

By: Noah Wright


Back in the 2014-2015 off season, a blockbuster trade was made between the Marlins and Dodgers. For both teams, multiple pieces were moved that day. However, namely, the Marlins acquired who would be their second baseman until 2018. So let’s look at the trade that sent Dee Gordon to the Marlins, and the impacts it had on each team from then on out.

Dee Gordon had just come off a solid season with the LA Dodgers. He finished the year batting .289/.326/.378 and 102 wRC+. Though he lacked power, he did steal a league leading 64 stolen bases, and 10.2 baserunning runs above average.  Gordon, while his glove wasn’t anything super special at the time, held its own with just -.3 dWAR. The second baseman was shipped with veteran RHP Dan Haren to Miami. He was the Dodgers 5th starter a season prior, and put up overall solid numbers. Haren finished 2014 with a 4.02 ERA, 4.09 FIP, and 1.177 WHIP. Haren showed he was still a durable starter, pitching 186 innings, and showed he was a control artist, walking just 1.7 batters per 9. However, he really did well in the second half of ‘14. In 73 and a third innings, Haren had a 3.68 ERA, 3.53 FIP, and 1.036 WHIP. Both pieces could have been good assets to the Marlins in 2015. While both are no longer in Miami, with Gordon in Seattle, and Haren now retired, that doesn’t mean they didn’t leave a lasting impact. Dee Gordon left the biggest impact; both on the field, and emotionally. Gordon started off his tenure at Miami strong. He turned in a .333/.359/.418 batting line, a 116 wRC+, all in 653 PA’s. He had also led the league in stolen bases again, this time with 58. Gordon had also won the gold glove after having 13 DRS, 6.3 UZR, and 1.8 dWAR at 2B. 2016 was a rough year all around for Gordon. He didn’t get off to a hot start, and then was hit with a PED suspension. That was also the year Jose Fernandez died in a boating crash. The season was topped off with a very emotional home run off of Bartolo Colon, the day after the wreck. Gordon would bounce back in 2017, finishing with a .308/.351/.375 line, 60 stolen bases, and 94 wRC+. After the 2017 season, Dee was part of the Marlins complete fire sale, and was shipped off to the Mariners. While his first season in Seattle wasn’t too great, he has gotten off to a great start in 2019. Haren on the other hand, did not pitch bad in Miami. He gave the Marlins 129 innings of 3.42 ERA, 4.36 FIP, and 1.093 WHIP baseball. His BB/9 was exactly the same in Miami as it was in LA (1.7). However, Haren was shipped off to the Cubs for 2 minor leaguers (neither of which are still with the Marlins), and he pitched similarly there as he did in LA.

In return, the Dodgers would receive catcher/2B Austin Barnes, top prospect LHP Andrew Heaney, utility man Enrique Hernandez, and catcher-turned-relief pitcher Chris Hatcher. Barnes and Hernandez are still on the team in 2019. After multiple seasons as the Dodgers’ second catcher, he’s finally become their regular in 2019. Since the beginning of 2017 (when he started to play at least 100 games a season), Barnes has a .253/.377/.404. He has collected 14 home runs, and a solid 111 OPS+. Defensively, he’s been pretty decent, having a .8 dWAR, and 14 DRS behind the plate. Enrique Hernandez has also finally received regular playing time with the Dodgers. From 2015 to 2017, Hernandez mainly served as a utility man. He had at least 20 innings recorded at every single position that wasn’t catcher or pitcher. Even then, he did play a third of an inning as a pitcher. His bat in that period of time was mediocre, but he broke out in 2018. Through 462 PA’s. Hernandez blasted 21 home runs to go with a .256/.336/.470 batting line, and 118 wRC+.

Andrew Heaney and Chris Hatcher are no longer with the Dodgers. Heany was dealt to the LA Angels just hours later for Howie Kendrick. Heaney looked like a solid rotation piece to build around when he completed his 2015 rookie season. In 105 and two thirds innings, the lefty had a 3.49 ERA, 3.73 FIP, and 1.202 WHIP. He limited walks to just 2.4 per 9, and HRS to .8 per 9 innings. However, like all Angels, he got injured for a long period of time. He only started a grand total of 6 games between 2016 and 2017. Last year (2018) was the first year Heaney was fully healthy for a season. He pitched in 180 innings, but had a much worse 4.15 ERA, 1.4 HR/9 rate, and 3.99 FIP. However, his WHIP still remained a low 1.200, his BB/9 was 2.3, and he struck out more batters (9.0 per 9 rate). Heaney is on the IL/DL to open the 2019 season, so he is still inconsistent with health. Howie Kendrick on the other hand, provided a solid first year with the Dodgers. He hit .295/.336/.409 with 9 home runs, and 109 wRC+ in 495 PA’s. His defense was iffy though, logging a -1.0 dWAR. Kendrick was with the Dodgers for 2016 as well, this time mainly playing LF instead of his primary position of 2B, but his overall offensive production got worse. Since then, he’s been with the Phillies, and currently resides with the Nationals.

Chris Hatcher was one of the more interesting names thrown into this trade. The right hander actually started his career out as a catcher. He even caught a few games for the Marlins back in 2010. However, Hatcher’s bat never developed, and so he was moved to the mound. In 2014, his first full season as a bullpen piece, Hatcher turned in a very good looking 3.38 ERA, 2.56 FIP, and 1.196 WHIP. He had great strikeout and walk numbers, having walked just 12 batters in 56 innings, and striking out 60. He had also given up only 4 home runs in that time as well. After a trade to LA, he produced good results again in his second full season. In 39 innings, Hatcher had a 3.69 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 1.231 WHIP. Though his BB/9 rate rose to 3.0, his K/9 rate rose to 10.4. However since then, Hatcher has struggled. He’s only pitched in 136 and two thirds innings since 2015, and has had a 4.81 ERA, 4.88 FIP, and 1.463 WHIP. He was traded to the A’s for International Bonus Pool Money in 2017, and was released in 2018.

Since the trade, you could say the Dodgers won this trade. After all, Hernandez has turned into a productive MLB player, and more than just a utility man. Same thing with Austin Barnes. He has been one of the best Dodgers out of the gates of 2019. While Gordon and Haren were productive in their time in Miami, they haven’t provided nearly as much value as either Barnes nor Hernandez.

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