What a difference a year makes? After netting some of the top free agents last winter, the Miami Marlins are back to square one. In a blockbuster of a trade, the Marlins have shipped shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Marlins are receiving seven players in the trade, but most importantly they are dumping $175 million in payroll. You can rub your eyes all you want, but this ridiculous waving of the white flag is for real.
When the Marlins moved to Miami, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wanted to make a splash. With a new stadium, snazzy new uniforms, increased payroll and a new manager, the Marlins were ready to come out of the shadows and finally become an elite MLB team. But baseball insiders could not have guessed how doomed this sinking ship was. After a rocky start with manager Ozzie Guillen, the year only got worse. With a last place 93-loss season, Loria and crew were ready to throw up their hands and admit defeat. Loria is known for slashing and burning payroll, but their fall from grace is unprecedented.
Loria pleaded with MLB to move the team to Miami. MLB, justifiably so, was a little weary to grant the relocation. Marlins in years past have been cheap on payroll and have not invested well in the team, despite winning two World Series in their franchises history. Loria promised Commissioner Bud Selig the move to Miami would grant them a bigger market and Selig allowed the move.
Loria played the city of Miami and Major League Baseball for a fool. All the players they spent money on are gone, their attendance will surely drop and the city of Miami is still on the hook to pay for the Marlins swanky new stadium. This trade sends ripple effects through the league as MLB will now be more cautious when granting teams permission to build new stadiums or move. Loria has become the joke of the league and itâ€™s sad to see this team will be stuck in limbo for the coming years.
Hey if there is one silver lining in all of this, the Marlins are the most talked about team two winters in a row.