July 7, 2022

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Wendle agrees to deal with mutual option for '23

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MIAMI — The Marlins and infielder Joey Wendle on Thursday agreed to a contract for the 2022 season, with a mutual option for ’23. Monetary figures were not disclosed, though Spotrac.com estimated his salary at $4.5 million after he made $2.25 million last season in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Wendle, whom Miami acquired from Tampa Bay in exchange for outfield prospect Kameron Misner last November, called it a move that made sense for both sides.

“It makes a big deal whether or not you want to come to the ballpark every day,” Wendle said. “You hear some stories of [a place] just not [having a] very good atmosphere, and that’s certainly not the case here. Every day, I look forward to coming in — between the staff and the players, the guys who you spend every day with. That’s what makes a difference. Everybody’s been really good to me so far, very professional, and it’s been a really good experience. We’re not where we want to be on the field, but we’re 11 games in, and we know we have a talented group and we still believe in ourselves.”

Wendle, who turns 32 on Tuesday, has been one of the Marlins’ most consistent bats. Entering Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals, he had the highest on-base percentage (.382) and third-highest OPS (.802), with hits in eight of 10 games. According to FanGraphs, Wendle has accumulated 0.1 Wins Above Replacement.

A 2021 All-Star and Gold Glove finalist at third base, the left-handed-hitting Wendle has started seven of 11 games at the hot corner in a platoon role with the right-handed-hitting Brian Anderson. Wendle also has two starts at shortstop.

“Real good news,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “Joey’s a really good player. He’s been a great addition for us. This guy’s a pro. He plays all over the field, he plays hard, he’s prepared. This guy’s good for us. You win with guys like Joey Wendle.”

Across seven big league seasons with the A’s, Rays and Marlins, Wendle has a 105 OPS+ in 446 games as a utility player. He reached the postseason with Tampa Bay every year from 2019-21.

With the signing of Wendle, all of Miami’s arbitration-eligible players except right-hander Pablo López and catcher Jacob Stallings have come to terms on a contract for 2022. The Marlins dealt for the Gold Glove-winning Stallings last November.

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