Skip to content
Advertisements

Fixing The Franchise: The Miami Marlins – A Brief History

The Miami Marlins have had an interesting history as a baseball organization. Formerly the Florida Marlins, their inaugural season was in 1993. They went on to win the World Series in 1997 over the Cleveland Indians – in just their 5th season of existence. In 2003, the Marlins again became World Series Champions over the New York Yankees. Their homegrown talent paired nicely with key acquisitions in both of their World Series runs.

  • Edgar Renteria – debuted in 1996 at 19 years old.
  • Livan Hernandez – debuted in 1996 at 21 years old.
  • Luis Castillo (2nd baseman) – debuted in 1996 at 20 years old.
  • Josh Beckett – debuted in 2001 at 21 years old
  • Dontrelle Willis – debuted in 2003 at 21 years old.
  • Miguel Cabrera – debuted in 2003 at 20 years old.

The Marlins have produced and acquired some incredible talent over the years, yet they rarely hang onto it for long. Looking at the game of baseball today, the Marlins have also traded away many current stars of the game:

  • Miguel Cabrera – debuted in 2003 at 20 years old. Traded to the Tigers on December 4, 2007.
  • Giancarlo Stanton – debuted in 2010 at 20 years old. Traded to the Yankees on December 11, 2017.
  • Christian Yellich – debuted in 2013 at 21 years old. Traded to the Brewers on January 25, 2018.
  • Marcell Ozuna – debuted in 2013 at 22 years old. Traded to the Cardinals on December 14, 2017.
  • Kiké Hernandez – debuted for the Marlins in 2014 at 22 years old. Traded to the Dodgers on December 11, 2014.
  • Dee Gordon – debuted for the Marlins in 2015 at 27 years old. Traded to the Mariners on December 7, 2017.
  • J.T. Realmuto – debuted in 2014 at 23 years old. Traded to the Phillies on February 7, 2019.
  • Luis Castillo (Pitcher) – acquired from the Giants on December 20, 2014. Traded to the Padres July 29, 2016. Acquired from the Padres on August 1, 2016. Traded to the Reds on January 19, 2017. Debuted for the Reds in 2014 at 24 years old.

To put the consistent turnover into perspective – the Marlins have just two players that have played more than 1,000 games for the team; Luis Castillo and Jeff Conine. The Rockies, who were an expansion team the same year, have six players that have played more that 1,000 games for their team; Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez, Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Troy Tulowitzki and Dante Bichette. Despite the constant turnover, the Marlins have found ways to be successful when other teams have not.

Including the Rockies (1993) who were founded the same year as the Marlins, the following teams have also yet to win a World Series: the Texas Rangers (1961), the Milwaukee Brewers (1969), the Washington Nationals (1969), the San Diego Padres (1969), the Seattle Mariners (1977) and the Tampa Bay Rays (1998).

The Marlins have a unique track-record of going all in, winning a World Series, and dismantling everything.

1997 World Series Champion Marlins

Notable Stars:

  • Moises Alou – signed as a free agent on December 12, 1996. Traded to the Astros November 11, 1997.
  • Robb Nen – acquired from the Rangers on July 17, 1993. Traded to the Giants on November 18, 1997.
  • Jeff Conine – Drafted by the Marlins on November 17, 1992 in the expansion draft. Traded to the Royals November 20, 1997.
  • Kevin Brown – signed as a free agent on December 22, 1995. Traded to the Padres December 15, 1997.
  • Al Leiter – signed as a free agent on December 14, 1995. Traded to the Mets on February 6, 1998.
  • Gary Sheffield – acquired from the Padres on June 24, 1993. Traded to the Dodgers May 14, 1998.
  • Bobby Bonilla – signed as a free agent on November 22, 1996. Traded to the Dodgers on May 14, 1998.
  • Edgar Renteria – debuted in 1996 at 19 years old. Traded to the Cardinals on December 14, 1998.
  • Livan Hernandez – debuted in 1996 at 21 years old. Traded to the Giants on July 25, 1999.

The last game of the World Series was on October 26, 1997. Moises Alou, who hit .321 with 3 HR and 9 RBI in that World Series, was traded 16 days later. Robb Nen, who earned the save in Game 1 and Game 5, was traded 23 days after the final out. Jeff Conine, known as “Mr. Marlin”, was traded away two days after that. Brown and Leiter, the #2 and #3 starters, were traded within the next few months. Sheffield and Bonilla were traded away early in the 1998 season. Renteria and Hernandez, two of their homegrown talents, did not finish the 1999 season with the club.

2003 World Series Champion Marlins

Notable Stars:

  • Derrek Lee – acquired from the Padres on December 15, 1997. Traded to the Cubs on November 25, 2003.
  • Juan Encarnacion – acquired from the Reds on July 11, 2002. Traded to the Dodgers on December 13, 2003.
  • Ivan Rodriguez – signed as a free agent on January 28, 2003. Granted free agency from the Marlins, signed with the Tigers on February 6, 2004.
  • Brad Penny – acquired from the Diamondbacks July 8, 1999. Traded to the Dodgers on July 30, 2004.
  • Carl Pavano – acquired from the Expos on July 11, 2002. Granted free agency from the Marlins, signed with the Yankees on December 20, 2004.
  • Mike Lowell – acquired from the Yankees on February 1, 1999. Traded to the Red Sox on November 24, 2005.
  • Josh Beckett – Drafted by the Marlins on June 2, 1999. Traded to the Red Sox on November 24, 2005.
  • Carl Pavano – acquired from the Expos on July 11, 2002. Granted free agency from the Marlins, signed with the Yankees on December 20, 2004.
  • Juan Pierre – acquired from the Rockies on November 16, 2002. Traded to the Cubs on December 7, 2005.
  • Jeff Conine – acquired from the Orioles on August 31, 2003. Granted free agency from the Marlins, signed with the Orioles on January 11, 2006.

The turnover after the 2003 World Series was not as immediate, but the organization followed the same pattern. Win a World Series, and cash out while each player had their highest value. Truth be told – that is not a horrible strategy.

The Marlins Today

So where are the Marlins at now? Following their World Series victory in 2003 they have not made it back to the playoffs. Their last season with a winning record was 2009, when they finished 87-75. In 2018, they finished with a 63-98 record. Last year the Marlins attendance dropped below 1,000,000 for the first time since 2002.

Currently, the Marlins have the worst record in baseball.

Where do they go from here?

– Buzz

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Fixing The Franchise: The Miami Marlins – A Brief History Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: