To most Marlins fans, the career line of "non-franchise caliber players" seems exactly like this: The player gets drafted, moves at an average pace through the minor leagues, gets called up and establishes himself as a successful major league player, and after four to six years gets traded for young talent. Some of the time, however, the talent being given in return is of lesser value than the player being sold.
The Atlanta Braves, an organization that focuses primarily on good pitching and steady defense, hold a key piece of multiple ex-Marlins teams. Dan Uggla, traded to Atlanta in the offseason for Omar Infante and lefty Mike Dunn, is a prime example of the lack of front office consistency. Reunited with ex-Marlins manager Fredi Gonazlez for the first time this season, Uggla has hit in 20 consecutive games and has a .278 OBP with a .674 OPS. Although he didn't start the season the way he would have liked to, Uggla has recently turned things around, displayed in the Marlins' 5-0 loss to the Braves Friday night as he cranked a three run home run to deep center field. Analyzing basic numbers would say that the trade could be considered an "even" one. Omar Infante has stayed around the .260 mark all year, and Mike Dunn has five wins. Observing the way they played last season in Atlanta, though, would suggest that the trade favored the Braves.
Infante, though not playing as the Braves' starting second baseman, delivered clutch hits when needed most and when in the proper situation was able to successfully steal bases and get into scoring position. Although Mike Dunn's 5-5 record is far from poor, comparing it to the way he pitched last season makes it seem like an off year. Despite only pitching in 27 games, Dunn was used in the back end of the Braves bullpen and maintained an ERA under 2 for the remainder of the year.
Even though the Uggla deal is the most appealing, the Braves have two other players on their 25 man rosters who at one point or other were on that of the Marlins.
Scott Proctor, invited to Jupiter to participate in big league spring training camp in 2009, was given an opportunity with the Braves and has taken advantage of it. Proctor's year with the Braves can be described as one in which the numbers don't tell the whole story. Scott is just 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA, however as a long reliever in the bullpen he has flourished. Proctor's inconsistent success clearly doesn't scare the Braves as much as it did the Marlins prior to him getting hurt. The Braves are giving him a chance and he most recently has made the most of it as displayed in the 19 inning game against the Pirates as he collected the win in the game and hit the "game winning ground ball".
Proctor isn't the only ex-Marlin the Braves are giving a chance to. Cristhian Martinez was given the same. Also used as a long relief man out of the 'pen, Martinez is having much more success than Proctor. In 23 games, Martinez is 0-2 with a 3.53 ERA through 43 and 1/3 innings pitched. Martinez was given a small chance with the Fish, as in 2009 he was 1-1 with a 5.13 ERA. The Marlins received nothing in return for Martinez, as he was basically given away for free. He was designated for assignment to create room for another player to make his way onto the 40 man roster, and as a result was exposed and signed by the Braves. Martinez pitched six scoreless innings in the same 19 inning wild affair against the Pirates.
Though most of the time the Marlins request some form of compensation for the players they are giving away, designating players for assignment or not resigning them prior to them entering free agency exposes them to other teams, which include those within the division. Cody Ross may be the most memorable player giveaway-get nothing in return scenarios. Ross was acquired through waivers by the San Francisco Giants just to clear up the payroll. Credit should be given to the staff of the Atlanta Braves for producing young players properly, however it seems as though the Marlins do not have the tolerance that is needed to let a young "up and coming" player develop.