Editor's note: This is the first re-installment of This Day In Marlins History, which will be an almost daily series starting next week written by new writers Rob Willer and Ben Estes. Rob and Ben are trying to break into the writing business, and while they may not be Marlins fans, they sure appreciate team history.
On this date, August 8, 1996, the Marlins worked a trade to acquire Ryan Dempster and Rick Helling from the Texas Rangers for front-line starter John Burkett. As the Marlins franchise was a brand-new expansion team, they were looking to get younger talent to help them compete for years to come. Following the trade, Burkett made ten starts for the Rangers while pitching a total of 68 2/3 innings.He posted a 4.06 ERA and a 3.35 FIP. Burkett went on to pitch for four years with the Rangers. posting a 5.13 ERA and 3.85 FIP. He did however help the Rangers make the playoffs in the year of the trade which was the first time in franchise history.
The Marlins pieces in the deal were significantly better. Ryan Dempster pitched for the Marlins for the next five years. Dempster made his debut with the Marlins in 1998 when he was 21, posting a 7.08 ERA and 5.86 FIP in 54 innings. Over his Marlins career, Dempster went on to pitch five seasons with the club, turning in a 4.64 ERA and 4.67 FIP. Dempster's worth was more than the record on the field he was a true professional when it came to baseball. Whether it be showing up to the ballpark early or being the last one to leave, he gave it his all every step of the way.
Rick Helling the other piece in the deal who was aquired in September as a PTBNL wasn't much of a contributor to the Florida Marlins. Helling had a 3.30 ERA but a 5.50 FIP in 120 career innings with the Fish. After another stint with the Rangers and time with the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks, Helling actually had a short stint in the bullpen with the Marlins in 2003.