The Marlins are acquiring right-hander Darren McCaughan from the Mariners for cash considerations, reports Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald (X link). Christina De Nicola of MLB.com reports (on X) that outfielder Peyton Burdick is being designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster.
McCaughan had been designated for assignment on Wednesday when Seattle claimed outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba off waivers from the Pirates. While the transaction log at MLB.com suggested that he’d been outrighted to Triple-A, MLBTR has confirmed that Seattle had not placed him on waivers and he remained in DFA limbo until tonight’s trade.
The Long Beach State product, who turns 28 next month, saw very brief MLB action with Seattle in 2021 and ’23. He has allowed 13 runs in 14 big league innings. McCaughan has spent most of the last three years working as rotation depth at Triple-A Tacoma. He started 25 games there a season ago, pitching to a 5.83 ERA across 139 innings. His 21.2% strikeout percentage was a little below average, but he kept his walks to a modest 7.2% clip.
A 12th-round pick in the 2017 draft, McCaughan has pitched parts of five campaigns at the Triple-A level. He has allowed 5.22 earned runs per nine in 460 1/3 innings with similar strikeout and walk numbers to last year’s marks. He’ll serve as rotation or multi-inning relief depth for the Fish. McCaughan still has a minor league option remaining, so Miami can keep him with their top farm team in Jacksonville for another year.
Adding some pitching depth squeezes out Burdick, whom the Marlins drafted in the third round in 2019. The Wright State product hit very well up through the Double-A level to emerge as one of the more interesting position player prospects in the Miami system. His offense has plateaued in Triple-A, though, and he hasn’t gotten much of a look in the majors. Burdick appeared in 46 big league games between 2022-23, hitting .200/.281/.368 while striking out 53 times in 139 plate appearances (a 38.1% clip).
The hit tool is the biggest question with Burdick, who possesses solid raw power upside. He hit 24 homers in 492 plate appearances with Jacksonville a year ago. Yet he also struck out almost 37% of the time, indicating that his pure contact skills remain a serious issue. His .219/.327/.448 Triple-A batting line was a little worse than league average.
Burdick has some experience in center field but is better suited for a corner outfield position. That puts a lot of pressure on his bat. He still has a pair of options remaining, so another team could keep him in the minors for the foreseeable future if they want to roll the dice on his power potential. Miami has a week to trade Burdick or put him on waivers.