Missed Opportunity: Marlins Miss An Ace On December 13th, 1999
By Billy Brost
It’s rare when a Rule 5 player goes on to become an All-Star, a major award winner such as a Cy Young recipient, or even a Hall of Famer (there’s been exactly one!). But on this date, back in 1999, the-then Florida Marlins missed their chance to have a second ace in their future to go along with Josh Beckett. Not only did they miss out on having one of the most dominant pitchers of the 2000s, but for him to be left-handed and the Marlins to give him away anyway, is almost incomprehensible.
Well, on December 13th, 1999, that is exactly what the Florida Marlins did. During the 1999 Rule 5 Draft, the Marlins took a chance on a thin, Venezuelan lefty, who had lightning in his arm, and would develop one of the nastiest change-ups in baseball history. Unfortunately, this young man lasted less than 24 hours as property of the Florida Marlins, and he was dealt later that day for a player named Jared Camp.
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What did the Marlins miss out on? Well, over the next eight seasons, this lefty posted a 93-44 record, 1381 strikeouts, and was a four-time All-Star. Camp on the other hand? In parts of 8 minor league seasons with multiple organizations, he finished with a 34-36 career record, and a 4.50 ERA. Camp never made it to the show, while the man he was traded for prior to injuring his shoulder, had one of the most promising starts to a big league career that anyone could ask for. The missed opportunity? Johan Santana.