It is, to a fan, the worst part of supporting a team. Two dreaded words: fire sale. It’s when a team trades away all their superstars way below market value to save money. And, if you happen to be a fan of the Miami Marlins, you’ve been hit again. The Marlins, perhaps the inventor of the fire sale, traded away Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis, and prospects. The prospects are highly rated in Toronto’s system, but they are hardly a replacement for an All-Star SS and two proven starting pitchers. The A.L. East might have become the best division in baseball with these new look Jays joining the always strong Yankees, the Orioles, who went to the playoffs last season, the Rays, who won 90 games, and the Red Sox, who are probably going to rebound from a down 2012. While the A.L. East becomes very strong, the Marlins are resigning themselves to a probable last-place finish. These moves are terrible for the Marlins in two ways: the players and the fans.
Jose Reyes made a commitment to the Miami Marlins last off season, but the Marlins decided after trying to field a contender for one season that it was better to dump all their salaries and not bother to compete.
What about the free agents who before last season committed to Miami? This is their thanks from the organization? Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were both premium free agents who had several teams vying for their services. They committed to a team that was looking to make strides in the N.L. East. Instead, just one year later, the Marlins have given up. With this decimation of the current roster, they will have no chance to compete in a division that had two playoff teams last season, the Nationals and the Braves. Giancarlo Stanton, the best Marlin left but unlucky enough to not have a big enough contract that he would have to be moved to, tweeted, “Alright, I’m pissed off! ! ! Plain & Simple.” And, why wouldn’t he be? What was supposed to be a new day in Miami has already become a situation where the Marlins are waiving the white flag before 2013 begins.
And, what about the fans? Wasn’t the ravaging of stars off the Marlins’ rosters supposed to stop with the new stadium? The new stadium was what the team needed. The Marlins got a new stadium approved, for taxpayers’ to foot about 70 percent of the cost of the $515 million dollar stadium. And, now after one season, the Marlins have decided to quit competing. After this latest salary dump, the Marlins will have traded 12 major league veterans since July. I’m sure after this the Marlins will point to low attendance figures on why they can’t spend more money on a roster. But, is the blame going to lay with the taxpayers’ who put more money into the stadium than Marlins’ management? Why would they support a franchise that has burnt them again and again? As a baseball fan, I find this move downright sickening. It’s sad, but the only thing that can help Marlins fans now is a change of management. And, after this debacle, after building a stadium at taxpayer’s expense and then shedding all salary purposely fielding a last place team, I hope they get it soon.