|Big Trade Looks Bad Three Years Later||| Print ||
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on April 02, 2010
Three years ago, the Marlins and Tigers made one of the biggest trades of recent memory. The Marlins sent superstar Miguel Cabrera and pitching enigma Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers for a few prospects.
What's most amazing about the trade, perhaps, is that it took the Tigers about two hours to agree. When you're trading away six prospects, including two former first rounders, you think about the trade for a long time. When you're acquiring two players heading toward significant paydays, you think about the trade for a long time.
The Marlins, on the other hand, haven't gotten much. Maybin has played in 62 games at the Major League level and has only four home runs. He hit .250 in 54 games last season. The Marlins are expecting him to be their Opening Day center fielder, but that perhaps says more about their lack of depth at the position than the performance of Maybin so far.
There were concerns about Miller's changeup (and pitch repertoire in general) when he was drafted, and he has battled control difficulties in the Major Leagues. In 187 1/3 innings at the Major League level the last two seasons, he hasn't posted a WHIP below 1.60, an ERA beneath 4.84 and a batting average against beneath .273. Miller isn't a member of the Marlins' Opening Day rotation.
Burke Badenhop is the only other player currently on the Marlins' 40-man roster since the trade, and he appears to be a decent reliever. Nothing special, but a nice arm for a small market club to have around while he's cheap.
But this raises an important point: No matter the quality of prospects acquired in a trade, you must remember they are just prospects. There were concerns with Miller, but Maybin appears to be a ready-made outfielder for a contending team. He just hasn't shown that yet at the Major League level.
The commissioner's office and player's union asked the Marlins to spend more money on their players. Soon thereafter, starter Josh Johnson signed a four-year deal worth Zach Grienke money. (It's also worth nearly the amount Carl Pavano received from the Yankees a few years back.) It's impossible to tell the future, but imagine if the Marlins had an infield of Cabrera, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu. That would two of the biggest young superstars on the same team.
Instead, the Marlins are hoping Miller and Maybin can come through for them. They've got to start producing to make this trade look not quite as bad.