The Miami Marlins have been involved in numerous rumors over the past few months, but their first move this offseason still comes as a complete surprise. No, they didn't sign Jose Reyes. No, they didn't trade for Gio Gonzalez. Instead, they pulled off the blockbuster coup of the century:
While neither player is especially exciting, this trade fills needs for both clubs. The Padres need a backup catcher for starter Nick Hundley, and the Marlins have been looking to add left-handed rotation depth. LeBlanc isn't nearly as good as some Gio Gonzalez is, but he comes at a much cheaper cost. If the Marlins are simply looking for a potential back-of-the-rotation starter or bullpen fodder, LeBlanc will fill in fine.
Michael Jong over at Fish Stripes fleshes out LeBlanc's profile a bit more:
LeBlanc is a lefty and the Marlins have been coveting a left-handed pitcher for a while. However, in 293.1 career innings with the Padres, he has not managed to do anything of interest. He has a career 4.54 ERA and 4.85 FIP while playing half of his games in the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball. He is also an extreme fly ball pitcher; for his career, he has only gotten ground balls in 34.7 percent of his balls in play. With a non-elite strikeout or walk rate, LeBlanc was simply a spare part in San Diego, and there is a good chance he will just be a spare part in Miami.
For more on this move and the Miami Marlins' offseason, follow along with Fish Stripes.