MLB Trade Rumors: The Oakland A’s have traded left handed pitcher A.J. Puk to the Miami Marlins for outfielder JJ Bleday, per multiple reports.
The clubs are swapping high first round picks who have not worked out as had hoped. Puk, the sixth overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, was seen as an advanced arm out of the University of Florida, someone who could move quickly and who had a good amount of upside. Instead, injuries dogged him for much of his early professional career, though he had success for Oakland last year in a relief role.
He goes to Miami, who has been rumored all offseason to be looking to be willing to trade pitching in an effort to add offense. This would seem to be the opposite, though it speaks volumes of how they view Bleday. The fourth overall pick in 2019 out of Vanderbilt, Bleday was viewed as a potential impact bat. Instead, after a middling pro debut after signing in 2019 and then the lost 2020 season, Bleday had a very disappointing 2021 season, slashing .212/.323/.373 in AA in 2021. Bleday was promoted to the majors in late-July, 2022, after a so-so first half at AAA, and slashed .167/.277/.308 in 238 plate appearances.