Aidan Gruber’s MLB Trade Trees website went live at the beginning of the 2021-22 offseason and my only gripe is that I didn’t discover it sooner (h/t Effectively Wild for interviewing Gruber on Friday’s episode). It is a vital resource for anybody following or covering the Marlins considering the franchise’s propensity to trade for—and eventually, trade away—impact talent. Practically every star player throughout the course of Marlins history was/has been/will be involved in a trade during their careers, and the branches of those “trees” often extend farther than you remembered.
Before he established himself as a Hall of Fame-caliber closer, Trevor Hoffman was an original Marlin. Not even halfway through the 1993 season, the Fish flipped him to the Padres in a five-player deal featuring Gary Sheffield. Via subsequent trades, Sheffield begot Mike Piazza (1998), Piazza begot Ed Yarnall (also 1998), Yarnall begot Mike Lowell (1999), Lowell begot Hanley Ramírez (2005), Ramírez begot Nathan Eovaldi (2012), Eovaldi begot David Phelps (2014), and Phelps begot Pablo López (2017).
Yes, a player from the inaugural Opening Day roster and one projected to be on the 2022 squad are part of the same trade tree! The tree contains 41 total players. Their names and transaction details are barely legible when crammed into a single screenshot.
Sheffield and Lowell directly contributed to Marlins World Series titles, while Ramírez peaked as MLB’s best shortstop. However, each of those three plus Hoffman, Piazza and Eovaldi were shipped out of South Florida with plenty of productive years remaining. That’s why the tree’s net value in terms of wins above replacement (-34.1 WAR) reflects poorly on the Marlins.
Who would you consider the most obscure player on here? Right-hander Dan DeYoung gets my vote.
This nearly three-decade-old tree won’t be chopped down anytime soon. López is at the top of his game and under club control through the 2024 season. It’s highly unlikely that the Marlins simply let him walk via free agency when eligible—expect either a trade or a contract extension before then.
You can use the search function on the MLB Trade Trees homepage to browse other Marlins-related trees. Comment below if you find any fun ones!