The Marlins selected the contract of left-hander Braxton Garrett and named him the 29th man for today’s doubleheader against the Phillies, per a club announcement. They’ve also activated right-hander Nick Neidert from the injured list, optioning left-hander Dan Castano to open active roster space. To clear space on the 40-man roster for Garrett and Neidert, southpaw Brandon Leibrandt was transferred to the 60-day injured list with left elbow ulnar neuritis and infielder Eddy Alvarez was designated for assignment.
Garrett is the most notable name in today’s swath of moves, having been selected seventh overall in the 2016 draft out of an Alabama high school. An ill-timed Tommy John surgery the following June threw Garrett off track, and his prospect status has never completely bounced back. Nevertheless, he’s still among the most talented arms in the Miami farm system, with Baseball America recently placing him ninth among Marlins prospects thanks to his 92-95 MPH fastball and plus curveball. Garrett was due to be added to the 40-man roster this winter to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The contending Marlins can afford to devote a roster spot to him a few months earlier if they anticipate him helping their playoff push.
Like Garrett, Neidert is one of the Marlins’ better pitching prospects. He was part of Miami’s season-opening roster but pitched in just one game before going on the IL amidst the team’s COVID-19 outbreak. The command artist turned in a 5.05 ERA in 41 Triple-A innings last year (deceptively productive work given the high-octane offensive environment in the Pacific Coast League).
Alvarez, meanwhile, was one of the more remarkable stories in baseball this season. The 30-year-old former Olympic speed skater cracked Miami’s MLB roster in the wake of their COVID outbreak. Unfortunately, he didn’t do nearly enough to hold down a roster spot permanently, hitting just .189/.268/.216 in 41 plate appearances.