Garrett Cooper to have season-ending surgery
Garrett Cooper's season is over. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins first baseman/corner outfielder Garrett Cooper has been diagnosed with a torn UCL in his left elbow, reports Craig Mish of the Miami Herald. He’ll undergo season-ending surgery to correct the issue. Mish suggests it’s the same procedure Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins underwent last October. Hoskins was ready for the start of the 2021 season, so Cooper (who’ll go under the knife two months earlier in the year) should have no trouble being at full health for 2022.

That said, losing Cooper for the rest of this season is still a difficult blow. While Miami isn’t going to the postseason this year, the right-handed hitting Cooper had played well enough to be a plausible trade candidate. He’ll wrap up the campaign with a .284/.380/.465 line over 250 plate appearances. Cooper has always performed well when healthy, but he’s been plagued by a series of injuries over the course of his career.

With Cooper on the 60-day IL, Miami selected the contracts of outfielder Corey Bird and reliever Preston Guilmet, relays Christina de Nicola of Guilmet has been on and off the Miami roster a few times this season but didn’t get into a game until Wednesday night. He tossed a scoreless inning of relief in Miami’s loss to the Orioles.

Bird is in line to make his major league debut. The 25-year-old has hit a productive .270/.362/.444 with six homers over 224 plate appearances with Triple-A Jacksonville this season. Miami’s seventh-round draft choice in 2016 out of Marshall, the lefty-hitting Bird has a .253/.325/.328 line across five minor league seasons and can cover all three outfield positions.

With Starling Marte traded to the A’s Wednesday afternoon, Bird could see some time in center field over the coming weeks. Miami’s known to be looking for a longer-term answer at the position, though, and general manager Kim Ng and her front-office figure to continue to be active before Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.

Lefty reliever Richard Bleier is generating interest, Mish hears, and could wind up on the move. Corner outfielder Adam Duvall and first baseman Jesús Aguilar are other potential trade candidates. The Braves, who employed Duvall last season, made a push for him to address their corner outfield issues but were rebuffed, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Aguilar has drawn some attention from contenders as well. He’s controllable through 2022 via arbitration, though, and the front office has given some consideration to offering him an extension that could tack on an additional year of control, Mish reports.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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