Chris Coghlan was the Rookie of the Year for the Miami Marlins in 2009. His career went south, mainly due to injuries, after that. This off-season, the Marlins had to make the tough decision to non-tender Coghlan, giving him a chance to revive his career elsewhere.
Coghlan latched on with the Chicago Cubs, on a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. He has just a .209/.273/.267 slash line for the Cubs this Spring, likely hurting his chances of making the big league club out of camp.
However, Coghlan is still excited to be a Cub, as he has wanted to do so ever since his first encounter with former Cub and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, while playing at the Marlins minor league system in Greensboro. Dawson made such an impression on Coghlan, that he decided he wanted to be a Cub when his Marlins career came to an end:
“You knew that [the Marlins], they were notorious that if you get older and more expensive [you’d be gone],” Coghlan said. “We knew that day was coming, but didn’t think it would come as soon as it did.
“She was like, ‘Where would you love to play?’ This was a couple years ago,” Coghlan said of the conversation. “Chicago was one of the places. I love it. Any time you play in Wrigley Field, you get a different feeling. It didn’t matter where you were but you were like, ‘Holy cow, Ryne Sandberg played here, Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks — this is crazy.’ You’re on the same field.
“There’s just a reverence for the organization and the Cubs,” he said. “When [I signed] I forgot I’d told her that. A couple days after I signed, she said, ‘Can you believe you’re going to a place you wanted to go to the whole time?’ I was like, ‘Man, I forgot about that.’ It’s just surreal.”
The first part of the quote is the most interesting part, as it sheds light into what some of the younger Marlins players likely feel while they’re coming up through the Marlins minor league system. Countless names, like Miguel Cabrera and Josh Beckett, probably crawl through the young players minds on the players the Marlins have traded when they got too expensive.
Recently, the Marlins have done a decent job of resigning their own players, like Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez, but after the latest firesale and their inability to sign Giancarlo Stanton so far, you have to wonder if the Marlins current youngsters, like a Jose Fernandez, are having similar thoughts about where they want to play after the Marlins decide they are making too much money.