Phillies reportedly explored deal for free-agent OF Jake Marisnick

Jake Marisnick #41, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jake Marisnick #41, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Phillies nearly signed 10-year veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick.

With rosters expanding from 26 to 28 players starting in this weekend’s series against Gabe Kapler and the San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies will add recently acquired right-hander Vinny Nittoli to their bullpen mix.

As for the other open roster spot, the Phillies are also expected to add a position player — who could have been an outfielder who instead signed a minor-league deal with the division-rival Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.

According to baseball scribe Kenny Van Doren, the Phillies were a finalist to sign 10-year veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick. The Pittsburgh Pirates released the 31-year-old earlier in the month after they made a waiver claim for a player from the Seattle Mariners.

The Braves ultimately inked a minor-league deal with the former Toronto Blue Jays third-round draft pick and assigned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. This season for the Pirates, Marisnick slashed .234/.272/.390 with six doubles, two home runs, and six RBI spanning 31 games and 82 plate appearances. Overall in his career, he has logged 93 doubles, 13 triples, 63 home runs and 213 RBI across 831 games and more than 2,100 plate appearances.

Since his July 2013 debut, the California native has played for six different teams: the Miami Marlins (2013-14), Houston Astros (2014-19), New York Mets (2020), Chicago Cubs (2021), San Diego Padres (2021), and Pirates (2022). He has experience playing all three outfield positions in his career.

Marisnick notably logged three singles, a stolen base, and a walk across nine plate appearances with the Astros in the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals. In the 2015 ALDS opposite the Kansas City Royals, he slugged a double and two singles across seven plate appearances. Marisnick did not appear in the 2017 postseason when the Astros won the Fall Classic over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It is not clear what role Marisnick would have had on the Phillies, if any. The Phillies recently signed one of his former Astros teammates to a minor-league deal for bullpen depth. Marisnick’s outfield defense would have been nice to have in the majors, although Brandon Marsh has taken on that role nicely since he was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels last month.

Marisnick  simply could have been stashed in the minors as outfield depth, as the Braves just might do with the veteran. It is worth noting that Nick Castellanos has been sidelined for three straight games with turf toe. Hopefully, the injury is not serious, which caused the Phillies to explore a deal with Marisnick.

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