Tag Archives: Florida Marlins

Season Preview: NL East


Onto the National League, starting with the East division. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East, AL Central and AL West.

Last Year’s Records
Philadelphia – 97-65
Atlanta – 91-71
Florida – 80-82
New York – 79-83
Washington – 69-93

Notable Additions

Atlanta – Dan Uggla

Florida – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Javier Vazquez, John Buck

New York – Brad Emaus, Ronny Paulino

Philadelphia – Cliff Lee

Washington – Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Tom Gorzelanny

Notable Losses

Atlanta – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Derrek Lee, Melky Cabrera, Takashi Saito

Florida – Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, Ronny Paulino

New York – John Maine, Hisanori Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano

Philadelphia – Jayson Werth

Washington – Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn

My Thoughts

Atlanta – This is a playoff team from last year that has upgraded itself at 2B (Uggla), and will look for growth from Jason Heyward in his second season. The team will plug in Freddie Freeman to start at 1B, and hope that he can have even a partially similar season to Heyward’s rookie year. The pitching remains solid, behind Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and Jair Jurrjens. The biggest role that seems to be up in the air coming into Spring Training is the closer, with Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters competing for the job.

Florida – As they prepare to move into their new stadium in 2012, this is a young team who should continue to be exciting for the next few seasons. It appears that 3B Matt Dominguez is likely to be the starter this year, despite not playing a single day in the Majors yet. However, the loss of Dan Uggla‘s bat in their lineup could cause a major hole in terms of power and run production. They’re also hoping that Javier Vazquez will rebound with a return to the NL East, and also provide some more veteran leadership with Josh Johnson in the starting rotation. I’m not sold that they stand a great chance of winning the division, but they could surprise some people in a tough division.

New York – With new GM Sandy Alderson on board, 2011 is going to be a partial rebuilding season. They did not make any substantial changes to their roster, and will look to get bounceback seasons from players like Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes instead. Ace Johan Santana is expected to be out until midseason, and the team is going to be looking for nice performances from Chris Young and Chris Capuano.

Philadelphia – The Phillies went out and made what was probably the biggest surprise move of the offseason, inking Cliff Lee to a 5 year, $120 million contract. With their four aces in the starting rotation, they definitely look like the team to beat in the NL East. However, the injuries are already starting to pile up, as Chase Utley has yet to play in Spring Training, and potential right fielder Domonic Brown will miss 3-6 weeks after having hand surgery. If this team can stay healthy, I don’t think there’s a team in the NL that can compete with them. But that is a gigantic if.

Washington – The Nationals made one of the biggest splashes in the free agent market, and it was completely unexpected. Jayson Werth signed a 7 year contract with the team, and will play right field for the first few years of the contract. The team is still not ready to compete, but they will look for continued growth from Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. Jordan Zimmermann will also look to have an injury free campaign, and while they will miss Stephen Strasburg this season, he should be back in 2012 from his injuries.

Overall Thoughts

The NL East really comes down to the two teams at the top of the pile. The Braves and Phillies really seem like they will be the only teams that are likely to win the division or the Wild Card. The Mets and Nationals just simply aren’t ready, and I don’t believe that the Marlins are ready to compete quite yet either.  Here’s my predicted order of finish:

1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta
3. Florida
4. Washington
5. New York

Who Are the Faces of the Franchise? NL East Edition


Time to start looking at the Senior Circuit, beginning with the 5 teams in the East…

  • Braves – This one has to be Chipper Jones as of right now. He’s easily the longest tenured Brave, has been with the team his entire career, and has been an excellent player throughout. I could see this role going to either Brian McCann or Jason Heyward when Chipper finally decides to hang them up.
  • Marlins – For better or worse, it’s definitely Hanley Ramirez for the Marlins. The largest contract in the history of the team was given to Hanley, and was well deserved based on his performance. The only thing I can remember even remotely being negative around him was when his previous manager called him out for a lack of hustle.
  • Mets – David Wright and Jose Reyes really stand out to me for the Mets. I’d be more inclined to give the nod to Wright since he has not been injured nearly as often as Reyes in recent years, and it could continue that way with Reyes potentially being a free agent after this season.
  • Phillies – This one’s actually a lot more difficult than I would have thought it would be. There are so many big name players on the Phillies now that picking one by themselves is very difficult. Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Roy Halladay could all vie for this role, but I think for now it has to be Ryan Howard. The former MVP seems to be out front for the organization more than any other player, including Halladay.
  • Nationals – Last year, I would have said it had to be Stephen Strasburg. But with his injury, and the gigantic contract given to Jayson Werth, Werth has to be the de facto face of the franchise. It remains to be seen whether or not he can live up to the expectations that come with a contract that size, but for now it’s definitely on him to try.

Trade Review – Dan Uggla to the Braves


Today the Braves acquired 2B Dan Uggla from the Marlins in exchange for IF Omar Infante and P Mike Dunn.

The Braves

The Braves get a player who at worst is a 1 year rental, as Uggla will enter arbitration for the last time this season. But he provides a much needed middle-of-the-order bat to the team, and will allow the Braves to slot another power hitter into their lineup between catcher Brian McCann, outfielder Jason Heyward, and third baseman Chipper Jones when he recovers from his injuries.

To me, it seems like Uggla could be a candidate for an extension, but the Braves have very few players locked up to long-term contracts after the 2011 season (Just McCann, Derek Lowe, Jones, Tim Hudson, and David Ross according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. This is at worst a win-now move for the Braves, but I don’t think that they really gave up anything that will particularly hurt them in the short-term or long-term.

The Marlins

The Marlins gain some more flexibility with Omar Infante, as he can play 2B, 3B, SS, or the OF. This move seems like it would be likely to allow Chris Coghlan to move to his natural position of 2B instead of the previously announced move to 3B. There is obviously some salary savings as well, as Uggla was expected to get a raise from his 2010 salary of $7.8 M, while Infante is set to earn $2.5 M in 2011.

The Marlins have been adding bullpen arms all over the place in the past few weeks, and Mike Dunn appears to be at least a reasonable arm for their pen.

My Thoughts

Honestly, I’m wondering if this was a complete overreaction to the breakdown in contract negotiations between the Marlins and Uggla. It seems to me that there were a lot of rumors out there about what the Marlins might get in return for Uggla, and nearly all of the other rumors seemed like they were a better return.

I am wondering also if this will bring about another investigation from the commissioner’s office for the Marlins unwillingness to spend money on payroll. The Marlins already have $19.75 M guaranteed in contracts for 2011, and while it will clearly go up with more salaries being included (currently only 3 players are in that $19.75), I don’t imagine it’s going to get to even the 2010 level of $47 M.

Grades

Braves: A

Marlins: C-

Season Preview in Review: National League East


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I previously looked at each of the divisions in the American League, and I move now to the NL East.

Atlanta Braves

Predicted Record: 83-79            Actual Record: 91-71

At the start of the season, I just didn’t see where the Braves were going to find enough of anything to perform this well. But they got enough out of people like Troy Glaus, Martin Prado, and Jason Heyward to help carry them to the NL Wild Card. I had really hoped that the Braves would have a long postseason run to send off retiring manager Bobby Cox, but the Giants took care of them pretty quickly.

Continue reading

Trade Retrospective: Marlins Firesale Edition Part 4


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. This part covers the trades made during the 1998 season.

The Trades

May 14, 1998 – The Marlins acquire C Mike Piazza and 3B Todd Zeile from the Dodgers for OF Gary Sheffield, C Charles Johnson, OF Jim Eisenreigh, OF Bobby Bonilla, and P Manuel Barrios
May 22, 1998 – The marlins acquire P Geoff Goetz, OF Preston Wilson, and P Ed Yarnall from the Mets for C Mike Piazza

The Moving Pieces

In Los Angeles, Sheffield, Johnson, and Bonilla were all slotted into the starting lineup, with Eisenreich providing a bat off the bench.

In New York, Piazza became the middle of the order bat and catcher that the team desperately needed.

In Florida, Todd Zeile was slotted in as the starting 3B, Preston Wilson was sent to AAA Charlotte, and Ed Yarnall was sent to AA.

What Happened Next

In Los Angeles, Sheffield led the team’s offense with a .316 batting average and 16 homeruns in just 90 games that season. Johnson finished the season in LA with a .217 batting average and 12 homeruns. Eisenreich provided a good bat off of the bench, and Bonilla would play in 72 games for the Dodgers, hitting just .237 with 7 home runs down the stretch.

In New York, Piazza helped the team with his production, hitting .348/.417/.607 in 109 games with 23 home runs and 76 runs batted in.

In Florida, Zeile went on to play in 66 games for the Marlins before being traded to the Ranger prior to the trade deadline. He hit .291 with 6 homeruns for the Fish.

The Net Moves

NY Mets – First Level

  • Mike Piazza spent the next 8 seasons in Flushing, and made 6 All Star teams. He won 4 Silver Slugger awards, and hit 220 homeruns with a .296 batting average. He left via free agency after the 2005 season, and the Mets received no compensation for him.

Florida – First Level

  • Ed Yarnall was included in the trade to the Yankees that acquired Mike Lowell for the Marlins. He spent just 1/2 a season with the Marlins in the minors, posting a 2-0 record in 2 starts with a 2.93 ERA.
  • Todd Zeile played in just the 66 games with the Marlins before being traded to the Rangers for two minor leaguers, Daniel DeYoung and Jose Santo.
  • Geoff Goetz was in the Marlins’ organization from 1998 to 2002, never reaching a level higher than AA. He has since bounced around, and played in the independent leagues in 2006 before retiring.
  • Preston Wilson was with the Marlins for 4 seasons, posting a .262/.333/.473 line with 104 homeruns and 329 runs batted in. He was traded on November 16, 2002 along with Charles Johnson, Vic Darensbourg, and Pablo Ozuna to the Rockies for P Mike Hampton and OF Juan Pierre.

Dodgers – First Level

  • Manuel Barrios made 1 appearance with the big club in 1998, his last season in the Majors. He was out of the organization after that year.
  • Gary Sheffield would spend the 1998 season and the next 3 with the Dodgers, making 2 All Star teams and hitting .312 with 129 homeruns and 367 runs batted in. He was traded by the Dodgers on January 15, 2002 to the Braves in exchange for OF Brian Jordan, P Andrew Brown, and P Odalis Perez.
  • Charles Johnson would spend only the remainder of the 1998 season in LA before being traded to the Orioles via the Mets. The Dodgers received C Todd Hundley and minor leaguer Arnold Gooch in return.
  • Jim Eisenreich would play in 75 games as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement in 1998, and would retire at the end of the season.
  • Bobby Bonilla played only the 1998 season in the city of Angels, and was traded to the Mets after the season for P Mel Rojas.

Florida – Second Level

Dodgers – Second Level

  • Brian Jordan spent 2 seasons in L.A., hitting .289 with 24 home runs and 108 runs batted in. He left via free agency following the 2003 season and signed with the Rangers.
  • Andrew Brown spent 2 seasons in the Dodgers’ minor league system before being sent to the Indians to complete the trade which acquired Milton Bradley from the Indians.
  • Odalis Perez spent parts of 5 seasons pitching in the Dodgers’ rotation, posting a 45-40 record with a 3.94 ERA. He was traded to the Royals as a part of a package to acquire Elmer Dessens.
  • Todd Hundley spent the next 2 seasons playing part time for the Dodgers, posting a .284 batting average in 2000. He left via free agency after the 2000 season, and no compensation was received.
  • Arnold Gooch would not play in the Major leagues, and actually never pitched for the Dodgers’ organization either.
  • Mel Rojas would pitch only 5 innings for the Dodgers before being traded to the Tigers for a package of minor leaguers.

Florida – Third Level

  • Ricky Nolasco remains with the Marlins and has posted a 54-36 record with a 4.45 ERA in 716 innings.
  • Sergio Mitre spent 2 seasons with the Marlins and posted a 6-13 record in 34 starts. He was released by the Marlins after the 2008 season, which he had missed with an arm injury.
  • Reynel Pinto is currently in the Marlins organization, and has jumped between AAA and the Majors for most of his seasons. He has a 8-10 record with a 3.62 ERA in 231 innings pitched.

Overall Reactions

The Marlins were clearly trying to dump as much payroll as possible, as they gave up a lot of players to get the All-Star catcher Piazza in return. But the part that really seemed strange even then was that they team flipped him after playing just 5 games for the Fish. The winners of this trade clearly have to be the Mets and the Dodgers, if for no other reason than the Marlins didn’t really get a lot of production out of any of the players they received except for Juan Pierre and Ricky Nolasco. Piazza became an even bigger star in New York, and the Dodgers would get a lot of production out of Gary Sheffield in his time there.

After looking back on the trades, it becomes pretty clear that the Marlins were essentially trying to gather as many players as they could for the players that they got rid of. They say there’s no such thing as a pitching prospect, and the bulk of these trades tend to bring that point home.  So many of the prospects that they acquired through these trades did not turn into Major Leaguers, and while they did get the pieces for the next championship run, overall these trades still look pretty bad for the Marlins in hindsight.

Trade Retrospective: Marlins Firesale Edition Part 3


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, Part 2 here, and this part covers the trades made through the start of the season.

The Trades

February 6, 1998 – The Marlins acquire Robert Stratton, A.J. Burnett, and Jesus Sanchez from the Mets for P Al Leiter and 2B Ralph Millard.

The Moving Pieces

In New York, Al Leiter was slotted into the starting rotation, and Ralph Milliard was slotted in as the starting 2B for their AAA team.

In Florida, A.J. Burnett was sent to the Midwest League to work in the starting rotation. Jesus Sanchez was slotted into the starting rotation for the Major League team.

What Happened Next

In New York, Al Leiter went 17-6 with a 2.47 ERA in 193 innings pitched for the Mets. Ralph Milliard received a late-season call up for the Mets, and appeared in 10 games but only got 1 at bat in 1998.

In Florida, Burnett went 10-4 with a 1.97 ERA and 186 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. Sanchez went 7-9 with a 4.47 ERA in 173 innings for the Marlins.

The Net Moves

NY Mets – First Level

  • Al Leiter spent 7 seasons in Flushing, posting a 95-67 record with a 3.42 ERA. He threw 1360 innings total, striking out 1106 batters and helping lead the Mets to two playoff appearances in his time there. He left via free agency after the 2004 season.
  • Ralph Milliard only played in 1998 in the Majors for the Mets, and was out of the organization in 1999.

Florida – First Level

  • Jesus Sanchez spent 4 seasons in Florida, mostly in the starting rotation. He posted a 23-34 record with a 5.06 ERA and 368 strikeouts in 494 innings pitched. He was traded on December 11, 2001 to the Cubs for Nate Teut.
  • A.J. Burnett spent 7 seasons in Florida entirely in the starting rotation. He posted a 49-50 record with a 3.73 ERA and 753 strikeouts in 853 2/3 innings pitched. He left via free agency on October 27, 2005, and signed with the Blue Jays. The Marlins received 2 compensation draft picks for this, which they used to draft Chris Coghlan and Torre Langley.
  • I honestly can’t find any information about Robert Stratton, as the Baseball Reference page links to a player who played in the early 1970s.

Florida – Second Level

  • Nate Teut only made 2 major league appearances with the Marlins (or any team for that matter). He was released by the Marlins on 4/15/03.
  • Torre Langley is currently in the minor leagues with the Phillies, after spending the previous 3 seasons in the Marlins minor league system.
  • Chris Coghlan has appeared in 219 games so far for the Marlins, hitting. 299/.367/.428 with 14 homeruns, 75 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases. He also won the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year award.

Overall Reactions

The clear piece of most value to the Marlins was A.J. Burnett, which is still a lot more of a return than the players that they got in return for a lot of their other stars. Leiter became one of the more famous players for the Mets, and ended up being known for representing the Mets. Burnett gave them 7 seasons with a lot of inconsistency, but a lot of upside as well, and the draft picks he netted the team when he left definitely helped to bring in current talent in Chris Coghlan. This is one of the few trades that went well for the Marlins overall.

The last post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the trades made through the 1998 season and part of the 1998-1999 off season.

Trade Retrospective – Firesale Edition: Marlins Part 2


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. You can find Part 1 of the series here, and this part covers the trades made through the start of Spring Training (approximately February 1st, 1998)

The Trades

December 15, 1997 – The Marlins acquired 1B Derrek Lee, P Rafael Medina and Steve Hoff from the Padres for SP Kevin Brown.
December 18, 1997 – The Marlins acquired Fletcher Bates and Scott Comer from the Mets for RP Dennis Cook
December 19, 1997 – The Marlins acquired P Eric Ludwick from the Athletics for IF Kurt Abbott

The Moving Pieces

In San Diego, Kevin Brown was slotted into the top of the starting rotation for the Padres.

In New York, Dennis Cook was moved into the back end of the bullpen for the Mets.

In Oakland, Kurt Abbott was slotted into a bench role for the Athletics.

In Florida, 1B Derrek Lee was immediately slotted in as the starting 1B for the Marlins. P Rafael Medina made the starting rotation out of Spring Training as well. Steve Hoff was sent to the Marlins High-A affiliate in Brevard County. OF Fletcher Bates was sent to AA Portland to start there.

What Happened Next

In San Diego, Kevin Brown immediately helped to stabilize the starting rotation of the Padres, and had another great season for the team.

In New York, Dennis Cook went 8-4 with a 2.38 ERA in 73 relief appearances for the Mets in 1998.

In Florida, Rafael Medina struggled in the rotation, going 2-6 in 12 starts with a 6.01 ERA, and split time between AAA and Miami in 1998. Steve Hoff was traded after posting a 5-8 record with High-A Brevard County. Derrek Lee was an average rookie 1B, hitting .233 with 17 homeruns for the Fish in 1998. P Scott Comer was sent to Single-A Kane County to be in their starting rotation. P Eric Ludwick was also slotted into the Major League rotation at the start of the 1998 season.

The Net Moves

San Diego – First Level

  • Kevin Brown helped lead the Padres to their most recent World Series appearance on the strength of an 18-7 campaign with a 2.38 ERA. He finished 3rd in the NL Cy Young award voting, and left via free agency after the 1998 season. The signing netted the Padres two compensation picks, which were used to select Vince Faison and Casey Burns. Neither player made the Majors.

NY Mets – First Level

  • Dennis Cook would spend the next 3 1/2 seasons in New York, posting a 25-13 record out of the bullpen with a 3.86 ERA. On July 27, 2001, he was traded with Turk Wendell to the Phillies in exchange for Bruce Chen and Adam Walker

Oakland – First Level

  • Kurt Abbott played in a whopping 35 games for the Athletics before being traded to the Rockies for a player to be named later. That player ended up being minor leaguer Ara Petrosian.

Florida – First Level

  • Rafael Medina spent 2 seasons in Florida, splitting time between AAA and the Majors. He posted a 3-7 record with a 5.96 ERA over 90 2/3 innings. He was claimed off of waivers by the Braves on December 6, 1999
  • Steve Hoff spent part of the 1998 season with the Marlins’ High-A affiliate, posting a 5-8 record in 15 starts with a 4.11 ERA. He was traded to the Cubs on July 31, 1998 along with Felix Heredia for Justin Speier, Kevin Orie, and Todd Noel.
  • Derrek Lee spent 6 seasons in Florida, posting a .264 batting average with 129 home runs. He was traded on November 25, 2003 to the Cubs for 1B Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini
  • Fletcher Bates never played in the Majors, spending 2 seasons in the Marlins organization (both at AA). His better season was 1998, when he hit .274 with 11 homeruns and 19 stolen bases.
  • Scott Comer never played in the Majors either, spending 3 seasons in the Marlins organization and reaching AA at his highest point. It appears he was out of organized baseball at the age of 23.
  • Eric Ludwick went 1-4 with a 7.44 ERA in 13 appearances for the Fish in 1998, and was drafted by the Tigers in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft on 12/14/98.

NY Mets – Second Level

  • Bruce Chen spent parts of 2 seasons with the Mets, posting a 3-2 record with a 4.62 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). On April 5, 2002, he was traded with Luis Figueroa and Dicky Gonzalez to the Expos for Phil Seibel, Scott Strickland and Matt Watson.
  • Adam Walker never played in the Majors, and was with the Mets organization until his retirement in 2003. He only appeared in 13 games for the Mets’ minor league teams.

Florida – Second Level

  • Hee Seop Choi was widely considered to be a bust, playing in just 95 games for the Marlins before being traded to the Dodgers with Brad Penny and Bill Murphy for Juan Encarnacion, Paul LoDuca, and Guillermo Mota on 7/30/2004.
  • Mike Nannini spent 2004 with the Marlins AAA affiliate, posting a 9-10 record with a 5.29 ERA. He spent the following 4 seasons bouncing around the minors, never pitching in the Major leagues.
  • Justin Speier pitched in 18 forgettable games for the Marlins in the 1998 season, and was traded to the Braves on April 1, 1999 for Matthew Targac.
  • Kevin Orie appeared in 125 games over 2 seasons with the Marlins through 1999, hitting .258 with 12 homers. On November 12, 1999 he was sent to the Dodgers as a part of a conditional deal which appeared to return nothing.
  • Todd Noel went 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 1998, and was with the Yankees following the 1998 season. He never appeared in the Majors either.

Florida – Third Level

  • Paul LoDuca appeared in 182 games in parts of 2 seasons in that stint with the Marlins. He his .283 in 1999 with 6 homeruns and 57 runs batted in. On 12/5/2005, he was traded to the Mets for minor leaguers Gaby Hernandez and Dante Brinkley.
  • Guillermo Mota was included in the trade which sent Josh Beckett to the Red Sox.
  • Juan Encarnacion was in Florida through the end of the 2005 season, and hit .287 with 16 homeruns in 2005 for the team. After the season, he left via free agency, and it appears that the Marlins received no compensation.

Overall Reactions

There were some productive players that the team received, and definitely got some solid years out of 1B Derrek Lee, the prize of the trade that moved Kevin Brown. That said, almost without fail, the rest of the players they received were not particularly good for the Marlins. Paul LoDuca and Juan Encarnacion are the only ones who stand out as being remotely useful to the team, and Guillermo Mota‘s best use for the Marlins was including him to acquire Hanley Ramirez for the current team.

To me, the winners out of this group had to be the Padres, simply because Brown was the piece that helped to get them over the top in the National League and win the pennant in 1998. Unfortunately for them, they ran into the buzzsaw that was the 114 win New York Yankees.

The next post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the rest of the trades made prior to the start of the 1998 season.

Trade Retrospective – Firesale Edition: Marlins


For the final month of the season, I’ll be posting a slightly different set of trade retrospectives. In 1997, the Marlins, under owner Wayne Huizenga, won the whole thing, taking the World Series in 7 games in a walk-off victory over the Cleveland Indians. The team had assembled quite a collection of talented players, with Edgar Renteria, Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield anchoring the lineup and Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Livan Hernandez, and Robb Nen anchoring the pitching staff. However, the team was for sale, and had been prior to the championship. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, on the morning after the victory:

The Marlins are in danger of being dismantled. Owner H. Wayne Huizenga put the club up for sale last summer and — even though the Marlins reached the World Series — figures to decrease the payroll this winter.

Well, it didn’t take all that long, and the pieces started falling pretty quickly. These posts will not be just surrounding 1 trade, but rather the whole of the work related to this firesale. Part 1 will cover the trades made in November 1997

The Trades

November 11, 1997 – The Marlins acquired Mark Johnson, Manuel Barrios and Oscar Henriquez from the Astros for OF Moises Alou
November 18, 1997 – The Marlins sent Kurt Miller to the Cubs as a part of a conditional trade
November 18, 1997 – The Marlins acquired Jesus Martinez from the Diamondbacks for OF Devon White
November 18, 1997 – The Marlins acquired Mike Pageler, Mike Villano and Joe Fontenot from the Giants for CL Robb Nen

The Moving Pieces

In Houston, LF Moises Alou was slotted in to the middle of the lineup and starting in left field.

In Chicago, P Kurt Miller was sent to AAA Iowa, where he was slotted into the starting rotation for the team.

In Arizona, OF Devon White was slotted in to the starting CF role.

In San Francisco, CL Robb Nen was immediately placed into the closer’s role for the Giants.

In Florida, P Manuel Barrios was sent to AAA Charlotte to work as a reliever. Oscar Henriquez made the big club out of Spring Training in 1998 as a reliever. P Mark Johnson was sent to AA Portland in the Eastern League, where he worked in the starting rotation. P Mike Pageler was also sent to AA Portland, where he worked as a reliever out of the pen. P Mike Villano was sent to AAA Charlotte, where he was to work out of the starting rotation.

What Happened Next

In Houston, Moises Alou had what was probably the best season of his career. He hit .312/.399/.582 with 38 homeruns, 124 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. He finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting that year, won his second career Silver Slugger award, and was named to the NL All Star team.

In Arizona, Devon White was slotted into the starting center field spot for the expansion Diamondbacks, and into the top of the order. He hit 22 homeruns and stole 22 bases while representing the Diamondbacks in the All-Star game in 1998.

In San Francisco, Robb Nen was an All-Star in his first season, posting 40 saves and striking out an excellent 11.2 batters per 9 innings.

In Iowa, Miller went 14-3 with a 3.81 ERA over 167.2 IP prior to getting a callup to the big club late in September.

In Miami, Oscar Henriquez started the season in the bullpen for the Marlins, but pitched extremely poorly. He posted an 8.55 ERA in 20 appearances before being sent back to AAA Charlotte. Joe Fontenot made 8 starts for the Marlins from May to July before being sent back to the minors for good. He went 0-7 with a 6.33 ERA in 42.2 IP.

In Charlotte (Marlins’ AAA affiliate), Manuel Barrios went 2-0 with a 3.70 ERA in 18 appearances (1 start) before being called up to the big club. Mike Villano went 3-5 with a 7.69 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts) for Charlotte.

In Portland, Mark Johnson went 5-14 with a 3.62 ERA in 142.1 IP in 1998. He spent the whole season in Portland. Mike Pageler spent the 1998 season in the bullpen in Portland, posting a 5-5 record with a 4.62 ERA and 13 saves in 76 IP.

The Net Moves

Houston – First Level

  • Moises Alou was in Houston for 4 seasons, but missed the 1999 season due to injury. In 421 games, he hit .331/.403/.585 with 95 homeruns and 346 runs batted in. He was an All-Star twice (1998, 2001), and finished in the top 20 of MVP voting all 3 seasons he played. He left the Astros via free agency after the 2001 season, and was not offered arbitration and as such was not eligible for free agent compensation.

Chicago – First Level

  • Kurt Miller pitched for the Cubs organization through the 1999 season, when it appears that he retired following that season.

Arizona – First Level

  • Devon White played 1 season in Arizona, posting a .279/.335/.456 line with 22 homeruns, 85 runs batted in, and 22 stolen bases. He was an All-Star in his season in the desert, and left via free agency following the 1998 season. The Diamondbacks received 2 picks in the 1999 draft for the loss of the free agent, which they used to draft P Casey Daigle and P Jeremy Ward.

San Francisco – First Level

  • Robb Nen spent 5 seasons in the city by the Bay, making 3 All-Star teams and finishing as high as 4th in the Cy Young voting. He went 24-25 with a 2.43 ERA and 206 saves in 378.1 IP, and helped the team reach the World Series in 2002. He retired after the 2002 season due to injuries.

Florida – First Level

  • Manuel Barrios made 2 appearances with the Major League club, throwing 2 2/3 innings. He was included in a large trade to the Dodgers I will be reviewing in Part 3.
  • Oscar Henriquez finished out the 1998 season in the minors before being traded to the New York Mets for C Jorge Fabregas on 11/20/1998.
  • Mark Johnson only spent the 1998 season with the Marlins’ organization. On February 1st, 1999, he was traded with Todd Noel and Ed Yarnall to the Yankees for 3B Mike Lowell.
  • Jesus Martinez never pitched an inning for the Marlins’ organization, instead being included in a trade with the Reds later in Spring Training 1998.
  • Mike Pageler never made it to the show, spending 1998-2000 seasons with the Marlins in the minor leagues.
  • Mike Villano never made it to the show either, spending 1998 and part of 1999 with the Marlins before finishing the season with the Mets. It is unclear to me how he got there.
  • Joe Fontenot only got those 8 starts in the Majors, and was sent back to AAA for the remainder of 1998 and all of 1999. It appears he was out of baseball at that point, at the age of 22.

Florida – Second Level

  • Mike Lowell spent part of 1999 in the minors before becoming a fixture in the Marlins lineup midseason. He was with the team through the 2005 season, but not before making 3 All Star teams and winning a Silver Slugger award. He hit .272/.339/.462 with 143 HR and 578 RBI in his time there. He was a part of the Josh Beckett trade during the 2005 offseason.
  • Jorge Fabregas spent 82 games as the backup catcher for the Marlins, posting a .206 batting average with 3 homeruns. He was released by the Marlins on August 26, 1998.

Overall Reactions

Wow, these ones didn’t turn out good at all. With the exception of Mike Lowell, there were NO players that amounted to much of anything for the Marlins. There was saved money in salaries clearly, but it’s hard to believe that they were this unlucky with regard to picking out pitching prospects. Clearly it seems that they should have gotten lucky on at least one of them, but they clearly didn’t. Mike Lowell definitely was the pick of this bunch for the Fish.

For the other teams, the Diamondbacks got something they really needed in a veteran presence in the lineup. The Giants really stabilized the back end of their bullpen by bringing in Nen, and he was as solid as they come during his time there. Even the Astros did well to get Alou while he was on the upswing. For this first set of trades, the Marlins lost.

The next post in this series will be up next Saturday, and will cover the rest of the trades made prior to January 31st.

Trade Retrospective – Josh Beckett to the Red Sox


On November 24, 2005, the Red Sox acquired SP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell, and RP Guillermo Mota from the Marlins for P Jesus Delgado, P Harvey Garcia, SS Hanley Ramirez, and SP Anibal Sanchez.

The Background

Josh Beckett had his best season to the point prior to the trade in the 2005 season, going 15-8 with a 3.38 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 178 2/3 innings pitched. However, he was entering his 5th full season, and would be eligible for free agency after the 2007 season. Mike Lowell, however, was the main reason for the potential trades being floated. The Marlins were desperately looking to slash payroll, and Lowell was due $9 million in 2006.

The Red Sox had won the AL Wild Card in 2005 with a 95-67 record, but were needing a solid pitcher to slot in behind Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield. Current 3B Bill Mueller was also going to be a free agent, and the organization did not necessarily want to hand over the job to the young Kevin Youkilis.

The Moving Pieces

In Boston, Beckett slotted into the front end of their starting rotation, and Lowell as their starting 3B.

In Florida, Hanley Ramirez was installed as the starting shortstop, and Anibal Sanchez was sent to the Marlins AA affiliate.

What Happened Next

The return for the Red Sox in the 2006 was a bit of a mixed bag, as Beckett went 16-11 over 204 innings, but posted a 5.01 ERA. Lowell had a solid season, hitting 20 home runs, driving in 80 runs, and posting a .284 batting average. The team itself however, did not make that playoff push that they had grown accustomed to. They went 86-76, and finished 3rd behind the Blue Jays in the AL East.

The Marlins were extremely happy with the players they got in return, specifically Hanley Ramirez. He won the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year award behind a stellar season: .292, 17 HR, 59 RBI, 51 SB, and 119 runs scored. Anibal Sanchez came up and gave the team a shot in the arm as well, posting a 10-3 record with a 2.83 ERA in 17 starts.

The Net Moves

Red Sox – First Level

  • Josh Beckett remains with the team, signing a contract extension first through the 2010 season, and now through the 2014 season. He has been a bit up and down overall, posting a 69-37 record with a 4.29 ERA in 880 2/3 innings pitched. He has 804 strikeouts and 232 walks, and has represented the Red Sox twice in the All-Star game.
  • Mike Lowell is also still with the team, despite their best efforts to move him in the past 2 seasons. He has posted a .291/.347/.472 line with 79 HR and 368 RBI, and was an All-Star once.
  • Guillermo Mota spent approximately 1 month with the team, before being traded on 1/27/2006 to the Indians with Andy Marte and Kelly Shoppach for C Josh Bard, OF Coco Crisp, and P David Riske.

Marlins – First Level

  • Hanley Ramirez has developed into the NL’s best shortstop, and one of the top fantasy players overall. In 737 games, he has hit .313/.384/519 with 119 HR, 375 RBI and 190 steals. He has made 3 All-Star appearances, and has won 2 Silver Slugger Awards. In addition, the Marlins have signed him to contract extension through 2014.
  • Anibal Sanchez has seen some rough patches, mostly due to injuries and inconsistency, but still pitches for the Marlins. He has a 28-25 record with a 3.62 ERA in 430 1/3 innings pitched. He’s struck out 323 and walked 190.
  • Jesus Delgado pitched 2 innings in the Majors with the Marlins, and was selected off waivers by the Mariners on 3/15/2009. He appears to be out of organized baseball at this point.
  • Harvey Garcia threw a few more innings (12 1/3), but was released by the Marlins on 3/16/2009. Must have been roster clearing time that week.

Red Sox – Second Level

  • Josh Bard appeared in 7 games for the Sox, and was used primarily as the personal catcher for knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield. It became clear very quickly however that he was not well suited for the task, and was traded by the end of April to the Padres with P Cla Meredith for C Doug Mirabelli.
  • Coco Crisp was with the Red Sox through the 2008 season. He hit .271/.330/.390 with 21 homeruns and 70 stolen bases during his time there, but was traded when it became clear that prospect Jacoby Ellsbury was ready to man center field. Crisp was traded to the Royals for RP Ramon Ramirez on November 19, 2008
  • David Riske made 8 appearances with the Red Sox in 2006 before being traded to the White Sox for P Javier Lopez.

Red Sox – Third Level

  • Doug Mirabelli became the personal catcher for Tim Wakefield again, and spent both the 2006 and 2007 seasons in that role before retiring.
  • Ramon Ramirez spent the 2009 and part of the 2010 seasons with the Sox, posting a 7-7 record with a 3.46 ERA out of the bullpen. He was traded on July 31, 2010 to the Giants for minor leaguer Daniel Turpen.
  • Javier Lopez was in the Red Sox bullpen from 2006-2009, and posted a 5-3 record with a 3.30 ERA, primarily as a LOOGY reliever. He left the Red Sox as a free agent after the 2009 season.

Overall Reactions

I think that this is another one of those trades that worked out well for both teams. The Red Sox, led by the performances of Beckett and Lowell, won their 2nd World Series in 4 seasons in 2007. Whether or not they come to regret the extension that they gave to Josh Beckett recently in the same way that they regret the one that they gave to Lowell remains to be seen, but as I’ve said before, flags fly forever. They also got some decent production out of Crisp while he was in Boston, and got a solid reliever in return for him.

The winner, if I had to pick one, would have to be the Marlins though. Ramirez has become a perennial MVP-caliber player, who routinely is at the top of the batting average charts as well as the stolen base leader boards. They were able to sign him to a team-friendly contract extension through 2014, and Ramirez remains the franchise player for a team that was in desperate need of one when the team traded 1B Miguel Cabrera and P Dontrelle Willis. I am not sure he will be able to stay at shortstop once that contract expires, as his fielding is less than amazing at a high-defense position. But time will tell on that one, and in the mean time the Marlins are enjoying every bit of production he provides.

Trade Deadline Review


Well, we are now officially one day past the non-waiver trade deadline, and there have been quite a few different trades made. It was definitely one of the more active periods in a lot of years. I wrote up the major trades as they happened, and you can read my thoughts with the links below.

Major Trades

Texas Rangers acquire SP Cliff Lee and P Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners for 1B Justin Smoak and 3 minor leaguers
Los Angeles Angels acquire SP Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Joe Saunders and 3 minor leaguers
Philadelphia Phillies acquire SP
Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros for SP J.A. Happ and 2 minor leaguers

Semi-Major Deals

1. New York Yankees acquire RP Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later or cash
2. New York Yankees acquire 1B Lance Berkman from the Houston Astros for P Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes
3. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire SP Ted Lilly and IF Ryan Theriot from the Chicago Cubs for IF Blake DeWitt, minor league P Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit
4. St. Louis Cardinals acquire SP Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians and minor leaguer Nick Greenwood from the San Diego Padres, San Diego Padres acquire OF Ryan Ludwick from the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians acquire minor leaguer Corey Kluber from the San Diego Padres
5. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire C Chris Snyder and OF Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks for P D.J. Carrasco, IF Bobby Crosby, and OF Ryan Church
6. Chicago White Sox acquire SP Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Daniel Hudson and P David Holmberg
7. Minnesota Twins acquire RP Matt Capps from the Washington Nationals for C Wilson Ramos and minor league P Joe Testa
8. Texas Rangers acquire IF Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins for minor leaguer pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda
9. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire OF Scott Podsednik from the Kansas City Royals for minor leaguers C Lucas May and P Elisaul Pimentel
10. Los Angeles Angels acquire 3B Alberto Callaspo from the Kansas City Royals for P Sean O’Sullivan and P Will Smith
11. Toronto Blue Jays acquire SS Yunel Escobar and P Jo-Jo Reyes from the Atlanta Braves for SS Alex Gonzalez and minor leaguers Tyler Pastornicky and Tim Collins
12. Los Angeles Dodgers acquire RP Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates for OF Andrew Lambo and P James McDonald

Minor Moves

1. Texas Rangers acquire IF Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals for minor leaguers Ryan Tatsuko and Tanner Roark
2. Texas Rangers acquire C Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants for P Chris Ray
3. Toronto Blue Jays acquire 1B Mike Jacobs from the New York Mets for a player to be named later
4. San Diego Padres acquire IF Miguel Tejada from the Baltimore Orioles for minor league P Wynn Pelzer
5. Tampa Bay Rays acquire RP Chad Qualls from the Arizona Diamondbacks for a player to be named later
6. New York Yankees acquire OF Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians for ?
7. Detroit Tigers acquire IF Jhonny Peralta from the Cleveland Indians for minor league P Giovanny Soto
8. San Francisco Giants acquire P Javier Lopez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Joe Martinez and OF John Bowker
9. Atlanta Braves acquire IF Wilkin Ramirez from the Detroit Tigers for cash or a player to be named later
10. Florida Marlins acquire RP Will Ohman from the Baltimore Orioles for P Rick VandenHurk
11. San Francisco Giants acquire RP Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for P Daniel Turpen
12. Atlanta Braves acquire OF Rick Ankiel and RP Kyle Farnsworth from the Kansas City Royals for P Jesse Chavez, OF Gregor Blanco, and minor league P Tim Collins
13. Boston Red Sox acquire C Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers for 1B Chris McGuiness, P Ramon Mendez and a player to be named later or cash

Wow. There’s still stuff coming in as I write this, and in the last hour there have been a lot of these to get done. So who did well here and who didn’t?

Winners

The Yankees – Let’s see if we have this right. The Yankees picked up Lance Berkman to be their designated hitter. They added Kerry Wood to help solidify the back end of the bullpen behind Mariano Rivera. And they got both of them for a pair of players that are of no use to the Yankees, and even got some money in the deals? Really? They already have the best record in the Majors, and have decidedly improved their team with both acquisitions. Oh, and they added to their bench depth with Austin Kearns as well.

The Rangers – With a decent lead in the AL West, the Rangers went out and got themselves an ace starter (Lee), a solid catcher who can help them play defense at the position (Molina), a run producing right handed bat who can play two positions (Cantu), a backup infielder who will be able to spell their third baseman and shortstop, and fill in while their second baseman is on the disabled list (Guzman),  and moved a player that they had soured on for some prospects. They are the prohibitive favorite in the AL West at this point, now being 8 games ahead of the 2nd place Angels and 8.5 of the 3rd place Athletics. They plugged nearly every gap they had in their team, and will go into the pennant chase with a very good chance of being in the World Series at the end of it.

The Angels – Even though the moves may end up being more for next season, acquiring Dan Haren to give them a very good 1-2 punch in their rotation for “some magic beans” as Matthew Berry put it on the Fantasy Focus podcast was a stroke of genius. Callaspo also gives them a solid hitter to play at 3B which they had sorely been missing. While it may not be enough to catch the Rangers, they gave up very little of value to do both trades.

The Pirates – They took D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Crosby, Javier Lopez, Octavio Dotel, and Ryan Church and turned them into a major league backstop (Snyder), two solid potential major leaguers (Bowker and Martinez), and 2 higher end, albeit risky prospects (Lambo, McDonald). Someone must have put something in Neal Huntington’s coffee that helped out a lot. They did extremely well to turn a lot of random pieces that aren’t really that helpful into all that.

The Royals – Pieces that aren’t for the future: Podsednik, Ankiel, Farnsworth, Callaspo. All moved for players with varying levels of upside who can help with the rebuilding process: Lucas May, Tim Collins, Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, Sean O’Sullivan, Will Smith. Not the most amazing group of players, and definitely no high-end prospects here. But the Royals have a lot of high-end prospects already, and need others to help give them some balance as well with regard to position scarcity and depth overall. Very well done today.

The Padres – They gave up a pair of pitching prospects to acquire a much needed outfield bat, and a utility player who should provide some value over the remainder of the season. Nothing too major here, and definitely nothing that mortgages the future. I like the Ludwick acquisition, as he could see an improvement with a change of scenery. I’m not 100% sold on the Tejada acquisition, but they didn’t really give up that much to get him in my opinion.

Losers

The Nationals – The trade of Matt Capps was nice, netting them a very good catching prospect in Wilson Ramos. But the way that they handled Adam Dunn leading up to the trade deadline was inexcusable. They clearly had not made up their mind as to what they wanted to do with him, and in the end they simply ran out of time. They clearly could have gotten more for him had they moved him instead of waiting for his free agency to play out, and the only reason to do that would have been to get him signed to an extension (which they didn’t do either). Not sure what happened here, but we’ll see if this was a really bad plan from the start.

The Dodgers – In a division where they are 7.5 games back of the leader and 5 games back of the wild card leader, the Dodgers decided to go for it, sending prospects Brett Wallach, Kyle Smit, Lucas May, Elisaul PimentelAndrew Lambo, and James McDonald (along with Blake DeWitt) to other teams to acquire: the remainder of this season from Octavio Dotel, Ted Lilly and Scott Podsednik, and also Ryan Theriot. I’m pretty sure that if they had offered those players to the Diamondbacks they would have been able to get Dan Haren, Kelly Johnson, and a bullpen arm. I’m also pretty convinced that they could have offered that group to the Mariners and gotten Cliff Lee, Jose Lopez and possibly David Aardsma. I’m not at all impressed with what they did here, and are only one bad week from being completely out of the race.

The Orioles – It’s a tough beat, but they were only able to move Will Ohman and Miguel Tejada, and would have been served by moving Ty Wigginton and Kevin Millwood, among others. Unfortunately, neither player has been playing well of late, and had essentially managed to knock their own values down to next to nothing.

The Twins – They needed some help in the bullpen, and really could have used another starting pitcher behind Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano. Unfortunately, they only filled one of those gaps, and at a cost that seems high even considering that the prospect that they gave up had no place to play in the Twins’ future.

Mixed Bag

The Astros – They were able to get out from under a lot of the big dollar contracts owed to Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, and got back at least a reasonable return. Brett Wallace will slot in at 1B to replace Berkman, and J.A. Happ will fill Oswalt’s slot in the rotation. But time will tell if they get anything other than salary relief for Berkman, and Happ and Wallace will have to be very good to replace the value of Oswalt in my opinion.

The Phillies – They gave up a lot more to get Oswalt than they got back in return for Cliff Lee, who would have played a similar role for the Phillies this season had he not been traded. Oswalt will need to be the piece that moves them over the top for this one to really be a winner for them.

The Diamondbacks – They acquired a pretty good young pitcher in return for Edwin Jackson (Hudson). But they practically gave away Dan Haren, a better pitcher who was not that much more expensive than Jackson. They got back a bunch of garbage essentially for their second catcher Snyder. Crosby is a free agent after the season, and Church and Carrasco are both likely candidates for a non-tender after the season. They also did not move Kelly Johnson and Adam LaRoche, both of whom had a lot of value built up despite poor performance of late. Some of the players they acquired could turn out to be good, but it remains to be seen.

The White Sox – They really could have used a bat, and it sounds like they were trying to get one by acquiring Edwin Jackson. I honestly can’t remember the last time I heard about a player being acquired with the hope of moving him to another team, only to have that other team tell them it wasn’t enough. Jackson is a nice pitcher, but is not that much better than Hudson should be.

Overall, a very exciting trade deadline, and there is still the possibility that we will see a lot more trades before the waiver deadline of August 31st.