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This Day In Marlins History: Cody Ross Leaves Marlins To San Francisco Giants On Waivers

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Cody Ross was not long for the 2010 Florida Marlins, as he ran off to San Francisco because the Marlins let him go on waivers. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Cody Ross was not long for the 2010 Florida Marlins, as he ran off to San Francisco because the Marlins let him go on waivers. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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In Fish Stripes' continued attempt to remind people of the past of the Florida Marlins along with the present and future of the Miami Marlins, we bring you a new feature published three or so times a week entitled This Day In Marlins History! The concept itself is very simple: whenever we publish this, we find an interesting fact or tidbit related to the Florida / Miami Marlins and write a little bit about that event.

On this date, August 22, 2010, the Florida Marlins allowed Cody Ross, a very good contributor for the Marlins over the previous five seasons, to go to the San Francisco Giants on waivers for nothing.

By this stage in the season, the Marlins had once again fallen out of true contention. The truth is that the Fish were more or less out of contention in July, before the trade deadline. At that point, the team considered shopping a number of its players, and one name among those players was Cody Ross. Ross had been a valuable player for the Marlins over his parts of five seasons with the team; in that time, he had garnered somewhere around 6.5 to 8.5 Wins Above Replacement, depending on who you ask, in 2073 PA. That means that Ross, a .265/.322/.465 hitter with the Marlins, was about a league average player in his time with the Marlins.

The Fish had to figure a league average player was worth something in a trade, even if he only had one decently expensive arbitration season left. After all, there was not too much of a risk that Ross would not be worth the $6 million he was likely to be paid next season. Still, he was being a more difficult sell than expected because he was having a down year for the Marlins, batting just .265/.316/.405 that year. The Marlins were not able to trade before August rolled around.

But during the month of August, the Marlins had to deal with a situation that happens often on waivers, and they dealt with it in an unusual fashion: the Fish let one of their players go for free.

The Marlins placed Cody Ross on waivers in the hopes that he would either clear and give the Fish full leeway to try an August trade or land on a team interested in giving up a return for him. What ended up happening with Ross is what happens to plenty of players in August: he was claimed, but not by an interested team, but by a team trying to block another interested team. The Giants put their claim on Ross with the sole purpose of preventing the San Diego Padres from getting their hands on him, as the Padres were looking for an outfielder. The Giants, on the other hand, were flush with outfielders.

The Marlins asked if the Giants wanted to trade. They were uninterested in giving up anything to acquire Ross, as their job was complete. The Marlins, as a result, were left with the choice of keeping Ross for the rest of the season or giving him up for nothing.

The Marlins chose the latter.

Ross went to San Francisco and, in a bit of cruel irony for the Fish and jubilance for the Giants, he became a playoff and World Series hero by catching fire in the postseason. Meanwhile, the Marlins saved about $1 million and change in salary in exchange for the ability to trade Ross again in the offseason. Of course, Ross's full year with the Giants was a relative disappointment, but for Giants fans, the benefits had already come in his playoff hot streak. The Marlins never really saw any benefit other than the minimal savings in this deal through the end of the season, as there was almost no incentive to hand him away to a team when the club could have released him outright or traded him following the end of the year.

No, the Marlins inexplicably made a salary-cutting move that saved almost no salary in the long run and hurt plenty of goodwill with the fans and players of the 2010 Marlins. And it happened on this date, August 22, 2010.