The Miami Marlins continue to make moves as they acknowledge the fact that they are further away than ever from competing for a spot in the postseason, this time jettisoning failed closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three team trade that basically turned into a salary dump. But was the deal consummated to please manager Ozzie Guillen and give him a fresh start, or was this just the start of something big that could land the Marlins Alex Rodriguez from the New York Yankees this offseason?
It is no secret that Bell and Guillen did not get along in their first season together in Miami. Guillen removed Bell from the closer’s role after he continually failed to get the job done. Bell said that it was “hard to respect” Guillen, and the Marlins’ manager said that while he respected Bell as a player, he said that “as a guy, I don’t know.”
While many may have felt that the Marlins would dump Guillen after just one season, they finally made the smart move by parting ways with Bell instead. This would lead me to think that Guillen will get at least one more season to manage in Miami.
But could there be more to this move? Yes, the Marlins were able to dump Bell and even get the Diamondbacks to pay $13 million of the $21 million owed to him over the next two years. That frees up space for a Marlins’ team who is all of a sudden no stranger to spending. They also dealt Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez last season, meaning they can go right back into the free agency waters if they choose to do this offseason.
Then again, they could go the trade route as well. More specifically, with the Yankees for Rodriguez.
Everyone has different opinions when it comes to the Marlins trading for A-Rod. Would he help their team? Yes. By a lot? Probably not. But Rodriguez can help the Marlins in a way that they appear more desperate for than actually winning games.
In the stands.
Rodriguez is the epitome of Miami. He is South Beach. While he may be a shell of his former self, Rodriguez will still sell some seats in that ugly new stadium that the team fleeced the taxpayers into paying for in south Florida. Their attendance was better last season than it was when they played outdoors, but even though they built it, the people still did not come.
Not as much as owner Jeffrey Loria had hoped for, at least.
The Marlins trading Bell was just the continuation of the fact that this team knows that they made a mistake last winter. They brought in the wrong players, have hired the wrong front office people, and still have no clue how to successfully run a Major League Baseball franchise. That fact will not change any time soon.
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