Remember that time when the Marlins loaded up on talent ahead of the grand opening of Marlins Park, with the idea of giving manager Ozzie Guillen a loaded arsenal to compete with in the first year of the shiny new ballpark and logo/color scheme change?
Maybe you don’t, for some reason. Here’s a refresher of the 2012 opening day roster*:
- Josh Johnson
- Mark Buerhle
- Anibal Sanchez
- Ricky Nolasco
- Carlos Zambrano
- C: John Buck
- 1B: Gaby Sanchez
- 2B: Omar Infante
- SS: Jose Reyes
- 3B: Hanley Ramirez
- LF: Logan Morrison
- CF: Emilio Bonifacio
- RF: Giancarlo Stanton
- RHP Heath Bell
- LHP Randy Choate
- RHP Steve Cishek
- LHP Mike Dunn
- RHP Chad Gaudin
- RHP Edward Mujica
- RHP Ryan Webb
- RHP Jose Ceda (opened season on DL)
- Greg Dobbs
- Donnie Murphy
- Brett Hayes
- Chris Coghlan
- Austin Kearns
* new acquisitions bolded.
Jeff Loria’s heart was in the right place here, trying to field a competitive team, but things didn’t work out quite as planned and the team fell far short of expectations en route to a 69-93 record, last in the NL East.
You could almost see it coming, as clear as the steam rising from Loria’s head.
5 years ago, the Blue Jays acquire Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio & John Buck from Marlins for Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Jeff Mathis + 3 prospects. pic.twitter.com/nQu9XDREAy— Kevin Glew (@coopincanada) November 13, 2017
The three aforementioned prospects would turn out to be Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick and Anthony Desclafani.
The veteran players involved in the trade, having been assured by Loria and company that there was a long term commitment to winning in Miami and that they were apart of said commitment, were, unsurprisingly, not pleased.
"I'm upset with how things turned out in Miami," Buehrle said in a statement issued Wednesday through his agent, Jeff Berry. "Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I'm putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career." - ESPN article, Nov 22nd 2012
"I was shocked, because Jeffrey Loria, he always told me he's never going to trade me," Reyes said on his first day as a Blue Jay. "He always called my agent and said, 'Tell Jose to get a good place here to live,' and stuff like that." - ESPN article, Feb 15th 2013
Miami’s rising young superstar Giancarlo Stanton, normally reserved, was famously compelled to vent via twitter:
Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012
Marlins fans were understandably upset as well, as they had been assured time and again by the Loria ownership group that the publicly funded stadium came with a promise of fielding a competitive, sustainable winner, and that seemed to have been suddenly, violently tossed out the window.
You will not find a more ardent Marlins supporter than former Fish Stripes editor Michael Jong, but the latest fire sale angered him so much that he actually called for a boycott of the Miami Marlins.
“Last season, the Marlins got me hooked. I spent the more money on merchandise and tickets last year than I ever spent on the Fish before. I wanted to believe in a new direction for the team, and I did believe. But Jeffrey Loria fooled me like he fooled so many other fans with his talk of change. And I will still support my Marlins, through and through, even if it means I will not be in their beautiful stadium rooting in person. in 2013, I will not support anything Loria does financially. He may very well still turn a profit through manipulation of MLB's revenue sharing system, but Jeffrey Loria will not earn a dime from me next season.” - Michael Jong
The return on the trade was a mixed bag ultimately, from the Marlins perspective. It has been well documented that the Marlins could’ve taken Noah Syndergaard instead of Justin Nicolino; while Nicolino is still around (and the sole survivor on either team from that 12 player trade), I’m sure the Marlins would’ve loved a do-over on that one. They got good productivity from Adeiny Hechavarria and Henderson Alvarez,and got something out of Jake Marisnick, Nicolino Jeff Mathis and Anthony Desclafani (though Marisnick and Desclafani would become Jarred Cosart and Mat Latos, respectively, furthering the damage essentially). Yunel Escobar never played an inning with the team, being flipped to the Tampa Bay Rays two weeks after the fact for Derek Dietrich (a clear win).
The 2013 Marlins ball club was predictably terrible, and gave birth to the now infamous ESPN poll asking who the face of the franchise was:
All of this leads us back to today, where the Marlins face another potential dismantling. We don’t know exactly how things are going to unfold, but give Derek Jeter credit for one thing: At least he told us it was going to happen.