It’s been a full decade since the Marlins relocated to their own ballpark, rebranding from the “Florida Marlins” to the “Miami Marlins” to coincide with the move. Ten years go by fast from a fan’s perspective, but within the Major League Baseball player population, that period represents a full generation (if not more). The names on the backs of MLB uniforms have completely changed.
The Florida Marlin is an endangered species! This week, journeyman outfielder Cameron Maybin became the latest one to transition to the next phase of his life.
By my unofficial count, 11 major leaguers from the pre-2012 era of Marlins baseball remain active:
- Giancarlo Stanton—The former NL MVP just made it past the halfway mark of his record-setting extension. Although not quite at the peak of his powers anymore, Stanton could plausibly spend another half-decade steadying the Yankees lineup and even draw interest beyond that as a part-time player. Rest assured, there will be an on-the-field link to the Florida days for the foreseeable future.
- Miguel Cabrera—The future Hall of Famer is the only other one of these 11 who’s currently on an MLB team’s roster. His Tigers are finally emerging on the other side of a dark debuild with Cabrera still contributing at first base and designated hitter.
- Steve Cishek—Current free agent last seen playing with the 2021 Angels, with whom he issued walks at the highest rate of his career. By any measure, however, Cishek’s overall performance was major league-caliber. The 36-year-old’s durability and funky release point will get him a job for this season if he chooses to pursue one.
- Yusmeiro Petit—Current free agent last seen playing with the 2021 Athletics. The only pitcher with more MLB appearances than Cishek since 2018? Petit! You’d be forgiven for not remembering the Venezuelan right-hander’s brief and bad Florida tenure from 2006. Despite a strong track record since then, his unevenness last summer will deter some teams.
- Brad Hand—Current free agent last seen playing with the 2021 Mets. The youngest player in this article, Hand made 12 starts in the majors as a 21-year-old during the final “Florida” season. In early 2016, he was freed from the Fish and proceeded to find his niche as an elite reliever. He’s hoping to rebound from his worst post-Marlins campaign.
- Andrew Miller—Current free agent last seen playing with the 2021 Cardinals. Miller was packaged with Maybin in the notorious Miggy/Dontrelle Willis trade, and even more so than Maybin, he “put it all together” after another change of scenery. It’s unclear what comes next for Miller considering his precipitous drop in velocity (he rarely cracked 90 miles per hour last season).
- Emilio Bonifacio—We’ve entered the final portion of the list that covers folks who are doubtful to resurface in MLB. Aside from a three-game cup of coffee with the 2020 Nationals, Bonifacio has been relegated to playing in the minors, independent leagues and his native Dominican Republic in recent years. He nearly led LIDOM in stolen bases at age 36!
- Hanley Ramírez—Arguably the best player of the Florida Marlins era is teammates with Bonifacio this winter on Tigres del Licey, occupying the heart of their order in the midst of a playoff run.
- Jorge Cantú—Last seen playing with the 2021 Mexico City Red Devils. I’m unfamiliar with his contract status, but Cantú still lists himself as “active” in his Instagram bio. Cantú homered only once in his 36 games while splitting time at both corner infield spots. He will celebrate his 40th birthday later this month.
- Aníbal Sánchez—I was pleading last spring for the Marlins to give their old friend Aníbal a shot to reinforce the back end of their rotation. He received major league offers, but they reportedly weren’t enticing enough. He pitched for the Venezuelan national team during Olympic qualifying.
- Logan Morrison—I have updated the original version of this piece to include LoMo. He hasn’t had MLB success since 2017, but he was raking for the Reds Triple-A affiliate in mid-2021 before being slowed by injuries. With nine-plus years of service time under his belt, Morrison is strongly incentivized to shoot his shot again as a spring training non-roster invitee—10 years of service entitles players to maximum pension benefits from the MLBPA.
- Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton on the 2010 Marlins Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
- Miguel Cabrera on the 2006 Marlins Photo by Victor Baldizon/Getty Images
- Steve Cishek on the 2011 Marlins Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
- Yusmeiro Petit on the 2006 Marlins Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
- Brad Hand on the 2011 Marlins Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images
- Andrew Miller on the 2009 Marlins Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images
- Emilio Bonifacio on the 2009 Marlins Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
- Hanley Ramírez on the 2007 Marlins Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
- Jorge Cantú on the 2010 Marlins Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images
- Aníbal Sánchez on the 2011 Marlins Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images
- Logan Morrison on the 2011 Florida Marlins Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images