‘1-2-3. We are family’: Marlins trio brings ‘positive vibes,’ desire to return to playoffs

Step inside the Miami Marlins’ clubhouse at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex and make your way toward the back.

It won’t be long before you hear a trio, lined up together in numerical order, sharing some sort of laugh.

On the far left is utility player Nick Gordon, wearing No. 1

In the middle is center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr., wearing No. 2.

And on the right is second baseman Luis Arraez, wearing No. 3.

“1-2-3. We are family,” Arraez said. “We are brothers. We just come in here and work hard.”

I’ve definitely got the best locker location,” Chisholm said, adding “there’s nothing better than being between two great guys.”

The trio has been intertwined for some time now in their separate ways.

Gordon and Chisholm have been friends since their early baseball days even though Gordon is about two-and-a-half years older than Chisholm.

Arraez and Gordon bonded when they were teammates with the Minnesota Twins.

And then Chisholm and Arraez got close when Arraez joined the Marlins last season.

Now, all three are together at the same time, sharing a clubhouse and a common goal of helping the Marlins build on their playoff berth last season while keeping the atmosphere in the clubhouse light along the way.

“Good vibes only,” Gordon said. “A lot of positive vibes. A lot of good energy.”

Arraez and Chisholm were at the center of providing the good vibes for the Marlins last season as Miami went from being underdogs to punching their ticket to the postseason for the first time in a full season since winning the World Series in 2003. Both have infectious personalities albeit in different ways. Arraez is more reserved, at least in comparison to Chisholm, but players gravitate toward his positivity. Chisholm is more on the animated side, lively and bouncing around from conversation to conversation to keep things upbeat.

It’s a theme that stretches beyond the trio’s little section of the clubhouse, as Gordon was quick to notice.

“As soon as I got here, everybody was coming up to me, introducing themselves, laughing, joking,” said Gordon, who the Marlins acquired earlier this month in a trade with the Twins. “Those things are awesome. You come in here and you see everybody’s already close and tight. The guys, they trust each other they lean on each other. I’m definitely trying to come and be a part of that.”

If the Marlins want to be at their best and build on the momentum of their playoff berth from last season, the good vibes from the three will need to extend to the field as well.

Arraez is coming off a season in which he won his second consecutive batting title and for a bit flirted with a .400 batting average. He will once again be the tablesetter for Miami’s lineup.

Chisholm enters his second full season playing center field and knows the priority needs to be staying on the field. Chisholm only played 97 games last season, missing two stretches due to injury (first turf toe and then an oblique strain). Despite missing more than 60 games, he still hit 19 home runs and stole 22 bases.

And Gordon, should he make the team, will serve in a utility role primarily splitting time in all three outfield spots while having a chance to get reps in the middle infield as well. After missing most of the 2023 season in Minnesota with a fractured right shin, Gordon is motivated to prove he can be a regular contributor on the big-league club.

“We have a mission this year to get back to the playoffs and actually get further in the playoffs,” Chisholm said. “Everybody being here just shows that we’re ready to do it and ready to work towards it.”

And that includes Chisholm and his two “best friends.”

Chisholm and Arraez hit it off almost instantly after the Marlins acquired Arraez last offseason in a trade with the Twins.

His friendship with Gordon began when both were playing as part of Florida Travel Baseball but for different teams and at different age levels. Chisholm said he and Gordon have been together almost daily over the past few offseasons.

As for Gordon and Arraez? The two were lockermates during their two seasons together in Minnesota.

“Baseball is really the glue that brings everything together,” Gordon said. “We have a blast when we’re here. That’s how we met. It’s always going to be a part of us.”

Now that all three are together, they’ll use that bond to push each other throughout the season.

“Definitely looking forward to it,” Gordon said. “As fun as it is, I’m actually excited to see how hard we work you know, just competing with your brothers. That’s the best part about it, definitely looking forward to getting the best out of each other and just trying to play some winning baseball.”