The trade deadline has come to an end and one of the biggest sellers ever year usually is the Miami Marlins. This wasn’t supposed to be the case this year, as the Marlins in an effort to draw fans to their new stadium in downtown Miami did the unthinkable. They actually spent lots of money on key free agents, and hired successful/very controversial manager Ozzie Guillen to add intrigue. However, what has happened so far in 2012 could become a cautionary tale for every team in the future. Here is a timeline of the events that have transpired this year for the Marlins.
December 6, 2011: The Marlins sign former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year deal worth $102 million with a $22 million option for a seventh year. This was the Marlins marquee move and while Reyes has picked it up of late, it instantly started rumors of Hanley Ramirez being traded due to his position change.
The Marlins also ink former Padres All-Star closer Heath Bell to a three-year deal worth $27 million. Bell has been atrocious this season as he has already blown six saves, and has lost the closer position multiple times.
December 8, 2011: The Marlins reunite Mark Buehrle with Ozzie Guillen by signing him to a four-year contract worth $58 million. In three days the Marlins have tied $187 million into three players.
February 14, 2012: Showtime announces they will be following the Marlins for the second season of “The Franchise”. Showtime does not disclose the contract information of how much they are paying someone to translate Ozzie Guillen.
April 4, 2012: The opening game of the brand new stadium is played against the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins lose 4-1.
April 10, 2012: The Marlins suspend Ozzie Guillen five games for his comments regarding former Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro in Time magazine.
April 30, 2012: The Marlins end their first month with an uninspiring 8-14 record.
May 20, 2012: First baseman Gaby Sanchez who was the Marlins representative at the All-Star game last year is demoted as he’s hitting under .200 on the season.
May 30, 2012: The Marlins are the league’s hottest team in May going 21-8 in the month. Giancarlo Stanton shows his incredible potential by winning NL player of the month with 12 home runs, 30 runs batted in and a line of .343/.432/.769.
June 4, 2012: The Marlins trade for Carlos Lee, but give up one of their top prospect Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen.
July 8, 2012: Stanton has arthroscopic knee surgery and isn’t expected back until mid August.
July 23, 2012: The trades begin as the Marlins send starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante to the Tigers. In return they get the Tigers’ top pitching prospect Jacob Turner, catching prospect Rob Brantly, and minor league pitcher Brian Flynn.
July 26, 2012: The Marlins trade the player who has been the face of their franchise for the past five years, Hanley Ramirez, along with Randy Choate to the Dodgers. In return the Marlins got young starting pitcher Nate Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough.
July 29, 2012: The Marlins ace Josh Johnson pitches in what could very well be his last start in the team’s uniform. Johnson ends up staying with the team through the trade deadline.
July 30, 2012: The Marlins trade Sanchez to the Pirates in exchange for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, pitcher Kyle Kaminska, and a 2013 competitive balance draft pick.
The Marlins also trade reliable right-handed reliever Edward Mujica to the Cardinals for third base prospect Zack Cox.
Essentially the main thing that the Marlins should have done was stay true to themselves. The team never should have gone on the spending spree that they did. But when it’s all said and done, the Hanley Ramirez trade will probably sting the worst. When he was locked in, Ramirez was arguably one of the top five players in baseball. Now he will be rejuvenated in Los Angeles where in the past years they have already gotten the most out of an underachieving all-star talent (Manny Ramirez pre women’s fertility drugs).
However, what the Marlins do best is develop young talent, and currently they have plenty of that. Turner is considered to be one of the games top pitching prospects. The Tigers tend to rush their young pitchers, so if the Marlins are patient they could have something special. This also goes for their two other prospects that are highly touted in outfielder Christian Yelich and last year’s first round pick pitcher Jose Fernandez. Cox who they just acquired was a respectable prospect only a year or so ago and a change of scenery could do him very well. Looking at their past history, don’t be surprised if the Marlins have some success in the next few years and in the next five years repeat this cycle all over again.
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