The MLB trade deadline may be over a month away, but that didn’t stop the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins from striking a deal on Tuesday morning. The trade is headlined by outfielder Corey Dickerson, who is heading to Toronto along with reliever Adam Cimber. The Jays will send infielder Joe Panik and a minor-league pitcher Andrew McInvale back to Miami.
Miami Marlins are trading Outfielder Corey Dickerson to the Toronto Blue Jays per sources.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) June 29, 2021
Joe Panik & minor league pitcher go from Jays to Marlins in trade for Adam Cimber and Corey Dickerson— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 29, 2021
Per a source, the minor leaguer in the deal is RHP Andrew McInvale https://t.co/pByOopDfPV— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) June 29, 2021
Dickerson presents a unique situation as he’s currently on the 10-day injured list with a foot contusion and he’s expected to be in a walking boot through the All-Star break. Still, the 32-year-old is a key addition for the Blue Jays. He’s a career .283/.326/.490 hitter who has posted a .300-plus batting average in four of eight complete seasons. He was hitting .263/.324/.380 with two homers, a 7.1 percent walk rate, and 20 percent strikeout rate prior to his injury this season. Toronto has just three outfielders on its active roster, so Dickerson will provide depth behind fellow left-fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. upon his return.
Cimber, 30, is on the final year of his contract, so he’s merely a rental option for Toronto as they look to solidify their bullpen. Through 34.1 innings, he has amassed 5.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, a .291 BABIP, 2.88 ERA, and 0.4 fWAR. Perhaps most importantly, the right-hander has yet to allow a home run this season. His presence will be crucial in a bullpen that has been Toronto’s biggest weakness this season.
Panik, who is heading to Miami, returns to the NL East after spending part of 2019 with the New York Mets. Through 40 games in Toronto this year, he was slashing .246/.293/.351 with 76 wRC+, .292 xwOBA, and .263 BABIP. He’s struck out in 11.4 percent of trips to the plate while walking in 6.5 percent. Panik has spent time at first, second, and third base this year, so he’ll give Miami a reliable and versatile option off the bench.
The final piece on the move is minor-league right-hander Andrew McInvale, who is going from Toronto to Miami. The 24-year-old was drafted in the 37th round of the 2019 MLB Draft but has looked solid during his time with Double-A New Hampshire this year. Through 13 games (20.2 innings), he has posted a 2.18 ERA and 4.08 xFIP. He’s amassed 12.19 K/9, 5.66 BB/9, and 0.44 HR/9 while inducing an impressive 63.6 percent ground-ball rate.
Ultimately, this deal allows Toronto to solidify two major areas of need—bullpen and outfield depth—in late June. By acting early, the Blue Jays were able to shape the market themselves, rather than waiting on other teams to determine what the going rate is for players like Dickerson and Cimber. Of course, they’ll also get one more month of Dickerson and Cimber than they would have if they had struck this deal in late July. It would not be surprising if this is the biggest trade Toronto makes leading up to the deadline.
As for Miami, they are able to dump two rentals, including one who is injured. They do acquire one rental themselves in Panik, though perhaps they hope to be able to retain him as valuable and versatile infield depth beyond 2021. With that said, McInvale is likely the headliner of this deal from Miami’s perspective. He opened the year in High-A and has impressed through a large sample size in Double-A, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he receives a promotion to Triple-A in a month or so.