Two days after the Twins took Nick Gordon to an arbitration hearing to settle his 2024 salary, they traded the utilityman to the Miami Marlins for potential bullpen help.
The Twins received lefty reliever Steven Okert in return for Gordon. The 32-year-old posted a 4.45 ERA in 64 appearances for the Marlins last season while striking out 73 batters and walking 24 in 58⅔ innings.
Okert, like Gordon, is out of minor league options, so he must pass through waivers if he is not on the active roster to begin the 2024 season. Okert was used primarily as a middle reliever for Miami last year, but he posted a combined 3.51 ERA across three seasons with the Marlins after not pitching in the majors in 2019 or '20.
The Twins will pick up Okert's $1.0625 million salary, which is slightly more than Gordon's $900,000 after he lost his arbitration case Saturday.
Gordon, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft, is coming off an injury-wrecked 2023 season. He fractured his shin in May after fouling a ball off his leg against the Dodgers, and he did not return to the majors. During the postseason, he filled the role of hype man in the dugout.
Out of minor league options, Gordon faced an uphill climb to make the Twins roster, particularly as a lefthanded hitter. In 2022, Gordon hit .272 with nine homers and 50 RBI in 136 games. In 243 games over three seasons with the Twins, he hit .250 with 15 homers, 80 RBI, 77 runs scored and 16 stolen bases in 21 attempts.
Okert is the fourth reliever the Twins added to their bullpen this offseason, along with Justin Topa, Jay Jackson and Josh Staumont.