In Baltimore, news about former Oriole and colon cancer survivor Trey Mancini will always be relevant, whether the news involves the Orioles or not. On Wednesday morning, the New York Post's Jon Heyman reported that the Miami Marlins signed Mancini to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Orioles fan favorite Trey Mancini joins Marlins on minor league contract
A look at Miami's roster indicates that a starting job for Mancini is far from guaranteed and, in fact, quite unlikely. Mancini's primary position, first base, is currently filled by slugging switch-hitter Josh Bell, whom the Marlins acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline last July.
Mancini's other primary positions, right and left field, are comfortably filled by Bryan De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez, and veteran (and expensive) Avisail Garcia seems ticketed to receive several at-bats at DH. The Marlins' primary DH in 2023, Jorge Soler, is currently a free agent, however, and it's possible that Mancini could see at-bats at DH or at first when Josh Bell gets a day off.
It's unfortunate, but not necessarily surprising, that Mancini had to settle for a minor league contract after struggling mightily in 79 games with the Cubs in 2023. After inking a 2 year, $14M deal with the Cubs last winter, Mancini hit just .234 with 4 home runs, 28 RBIs, and a .634 OPS, the lowest mark of his career.
Mancini was worth an eye-popping-1.4 WAR before being designated for assignment by the Cubs in late July. Mancini latched on with the Reds on a minor league pact late last season but did not play in any games for Cincinnati.
If Mancini makes the Marlins, it will mark his third team since the Orioles traded him to the Astros in a deal that netted Baltimore pitching prospects Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott. In signing a non-guaranteed deal, Mancini likely faces an uphill battle to contribute to the Marlins, barring an unforeseen injury to Bell or one of the Marlins' outfielders.
One thing is for certain: no matter where Trey Mancini goes, Oriole fans will always cheer for number 16.