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Fish Food: Marlins heading to arbitration, Starlin Castro, Gary Sheffield and the Hall of Fame

Throwin’ some flakes in the tank for my favorite fish!

John Cordes Archive
Photo By John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Trio goes to arbitration

Dan Straily, Justin Bour, and J.T. Realmuto all will go to arbitration with the Marlins to settle their respective differences over proposed salaries. The other two first-time arbitration eligibles on the club, Miguel Rojas and Derek Dietrich, have already agreed to terms (Rojas will receive $1.18 million in 2018, while Dietrich will play for the tidy sum of $2.9 million).

According to the Sun Sentinel’s Tim Healey, the Marlins filed at $3.375 million for Straily, $3 million for Bour and $2.9 million for Realmuto (a difference from the players’ requested figures of $175,000, $400,000, and $600,000, respectively).

So, who will come out victorious in this contentious battle between ownership and players? Back in 2015, Maury Brown from Forbes tracked every settlement dating back to the first arbitration hearings back in 1974, and found, more often then not, that ownership tended to win out.

In any case, it shouldn’t surprise us that the Marlins’ are taking advantage of the opportunity to save a little extra dough given their current financials, nor that the players are seeking to make as much for their services as possible. Hooray for due diligence!

Starlin still a Marlin for now Castro

I will miss the Starlin/Marlin schtick when he’s traded (or will I...)

Because he is still getting traded. The Marlins took Starlin Castro back from the New York Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton deal so that the deal could be transacted, not for any particular desire for Castro’s services. No offense intended for Castro, but if the Marlins’ had been comfortable with a contract that size for their second baseman, they would’ve just held onto Dee Gordon. The Yankees needed to part with some salary to accommodate Stanton, and the Marlins weren’t about to let the opportunity to shed that contract slip from their fingers.

They figured they could flip Castro to another team, and they should be able to do that. Despite some questionable defense at times, he does provide a pretty potent stick for a middle infielder, reaching double-digit home runs in each of the past six seasons. And, though it seems as if he’s been around forever, he’ll only be 28 during the 2018 season.

The Milwaukee Brewers could turn to Jonathan Villar again at second base, but it seems unlikely given his struggles in the second half of last season. If the midwest doesn’t come a-calling, Castro’s suitor might end up being in New York...with the Mets, that is. The Mets will play Asdrubal Cabrera at the hot corner this season and are seeking a second baseman externally. Additionally, the Marlins, being in some sort of rebuilding mode, should be motivated to clear up as much playing time for Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas, JT Riddle and Brian Anderson as humanly possible. All signs continue pointing toward Starlin not being a Marlin next season. Thy wish is granted.

Gary Sheffield’s Hall of Fame chances

In a word: not good (ok, that’s two words...dammit).

Every year the ballot seemingly gets more loaded with amazing talent, and in Sheffield’s third year of eligibility, he’s trending in the wrong direction, to the point where he may fall below the 10% required to keep him on the ballot in the first place.

What a shame.

There are two things that conspire to keep Sheff from getting elected (aside from the aforementioned crowded ballot): A prickly personality and poor defensive metrics.

The personality thing is neither here nor there. Look at the numbers, forget all the other stuff (what character clause?). The defense...well, it’s an important part of the game, and to say that it wasn’t Sheffield’s strong suit would be putting it mildly. This was a man who was born to be a designated hitter, yet ended up playing the majority of his career in the National League.

Still, the triumphs of his offensive numbers should be more than enough to overcome those two obstacles. 500+ bombs with over 250 stolen bases. 1475 walks(!). This is a man who only struck out more than 80 times in a season twice.

The great baseball writer Joe Posnanski had an excellent long form write-up on Sheffield and his Hall of Fame chances around this time last year, I encourage you to read it if you’ve stuck with me for this long, but here’s an excerpt on why Sheffield is famous enough for the Hall:

“...every single thing about it from the way he anxiously twitched the bat while waiting for the pitch to the impossibly hard swing that followed — smelled of swing-and-miss. This is part of what made Sheffield such a wonderful and frightening hitter. He seemed to be just a little bit out of control. And yet, truth was, he was PERFECTLY in control. He seemed to be swinging like a punch-drunk boxer hoping for a knockout. But he was really a surgeon at the plate. He rarely missed.”

“...Gary Sheffield, in my mind, would touch all the terror nerves in a pitcher’s body. I can’t imagine there has ever been a scarier hitter to face.”

He might not make the National Baseball Hall of Fame any time soon, but that shouldn’t stop the Marlins from putting him in theirs.

I hear there’s some sort of anniversary coming up this season that coincides with Sheffield’s time in a Marlins uniform.

Might want to consider it.


Should Gary Sheffield be in the Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Hell Yeah!
    (73 votes)
  • 10%
    Hell No!
    (9 votes)
  • 7%
    I don’t appreciate your swearing young man.
    (7 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now