At least three teams have expressed some interest in Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. The Angels, Blue Jays, and Royals have each “at least mentioned” the infielder as a possible deadline target, per Heyman.
Gordon, 29, hasn’t continued the form he showed in 2015, his first season with Miami. He slashed a career-best .333/.359/.418 — helped along by a .383 batting average on balls in play — and swiped 58 bags that year. With quality glovework mixed in, Gordon was valued at 4.7 fWAR and earned himself a five-year, $50MM extension.
He has had a somewhat redemptive 2017 season, at least, after his second season with the Marlins was marred by a PED suspension and significant performance decline. In his 375 plate appearances this year, Gordon owns a .295/.342/.358 batting line and has already stolen 32 bases.
While there isn’t immense need at second base around the game, Gordon would be a future asset for any acquiring team. And with his immense speed and highly rated glovework, he’d also be a particularly useful postseason roster piece.
All said, Gordon’s contract seems fairly reasonable, though it’s certainly not the bargain the Marlins once hoped it would be. The deal promises Gordon $7.5MM this year and $38MM over the three seasons to come — which includes a $1MM buyout on a $14MM option for 2021. (That option would be guaranteed if Gordon reaches 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 over that and the prior season.)
It’s not yet clear just what kinds of trade scenarios might entice the Marlins. Presumably, though, the focus would be on shedding as much of the financial commitment as possible. It’s not difficult to see the reason for interest from the teams that Heyman lists, as the Halos, Jays, and Royals have each had their share of uncertainty at second base. But it’s an open question whether those or any other teams would really be willing to take on most or all of Gordon’s contract.