Goodbye, Miguel… Remembering Miguel Rojas’ Tenure and Looking at What’s to Come

Chris Szagola/AP

For the past 15 years, one moment has stayed in the minds of all Marlins fans: the 2020 playoffs. The Miracle Marlins miraculously made the playoffs for the first time since 2003 while consistently being one of the worst teams in the 17 years since. This team garnered support from the entire league. These guys were predicted to continue their stretch of lousy seasons, but these guys found a way to win in ways unexpected to everyone. One of the key players to this run? Veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas. Miguel started with the Dodgers but spent all but one year with the Marlins. He led the team to a playoff birth and a sweep in the first round, creating this team that exemplified the idea that anyone can win at any time. But, just two years later, Miguel Rojas was dealt back to the Dodgers. Was it a bad move? Not necessarily. Rojas’ best season was in 2020, and he has not performed like that year since. He was getting older but still hit decent, especially for a shortstop, and played good enough defense to keep an everyday roster spot. In fact, Rojas only made 21 errors in three seasons for the Marlins compared to 26 made by Javy Baez in only the 2022 season. So, what prompted the trade? What did the Marlins get in return? Well, let’s see…

The Details

As most trades go, Rojas was traded for a prospect one-for-one. If an established MLB player is dealt, prospects usually come in return. This case was a little different, though. The Marlins received Jacob Amaya, a minor leaguer going into his sixth season. He’s an exact replacement, mainly playing shortstop with some 2nd base. So what could make the Marlins trade an established veteran for a 24-year-old minor who has never seen playing time for an MLB team? As mentioned earlier, age is important. Miguel has been getting older. But even at 33, most would consider Rojas to be more valuable than one minor leaguer. This is where player development comes into play. For the first three years of his career, Amaya bounced between Rookie ball and Single-A. The problem he had came when he would attempt to move up; he could not sustain success. He tried multiple times and would still struggle. Then 2020 happened. He had a year to fix his game and make the big jump to AA. He succeeded, keeping a batting average north of .250 for 2022 and even playing some solid baseball in AAA. So this is where the hope comes from. Amaya has made the most of available time and has the potential to take the heir for Rojas. All Marlins fans can do is hope and wait now…

Conclusion

Miguel meant so much to the Marlins, but his best years have passed him. The Marlins, seemingly in a never-ending rebuild, are always looking for young pieces to work with and improve upon. The Marlins got their piece in this trade, so hopefully, we should be seeing Jacob Amaya in the big leagues in no time.

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