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The Marlins announced the acquisition of infielder Jonah Bride from the A’s in exchange for cash. Miami designated fellow infielder Jordan Groshans for assignment to create a 40-man roster spot. Oakland had DFA Bride when they traded for Ross Stripling last week.
Bride, 28, has been with the A’s since they selected him in the 23rd round of the 2018 draft. The right-handed hitter has never been a highly-regarded prospect but has generally hit well in the minors. He owns a .288/.400/.459 line over the course of his minor league career. That includes a .322/.450/.553 slash over 401 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
While Oakland’s affiliate plays in one of the sport’s most hitter-friendly settings in Las Vegas, Bride’s production has been built around his strong strike zone awareness. He has walked in 17.2% of his Triple-A plate appearances while striking out at a modest 15.2% clip. That earned him looks at the major league level in each of the last two seasons, where he hasn’t found anywhere near the same level of success.
Bride is a .192/.296/.232 hitter over 98 MLB contests. He has walked at a strong 10.2% rate against a lower than average 18.2% strikeout percentage. He hasn’t done any kind of damage on contact, however. Bride has one homer and seven doubles in 293 plate appearances.
Primarily a third baseman, Bride also has experience at first and second base. He briefly dabbled with catching in the minors in 2022 but played exclusively on the infield last year. Bride has never played shortstop, so he won’t offer any cover at that position of need for Miami. He offers depth at any of the other infield spots and still has a minor league option remaining, so the Fish can send him to Triple-A Jacksonville next season without placing him on waivers.
The acquisition bumps Groshans off the roster, a disappointing development for the former first-round draftee. Selected by the Blue Jays, he was dealt to Miami at the 2022 deadline for relievers Anthony Bass and Zach Pop. Groshans made a brief MLB debut later that season, appearing in 17 games. He hit .262/.308/.311 in 65 trips to the plate.
Miami kept Groshans in Triple-A on optional assignment for all of last season. He had a lackluster .243/.339/.330 slash with six homers in 528 plate appearances. As with Bride, Groshans posted solid walk (12.5%) and strikeout (17.4%) numbers but made minimal power impact. First-year president of baseball operations Peter Bendix evidently feels Bride has a better chance of translating that approach into some amount of big league success. The Marlins have a week to trade the 24-year-old Groshans or try to run him through waivers.
Daniel Álvarez-Montes of El Extrabase first reported the Marlins were acquiring Bride. Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.