Wait, did you read that title right? Did that just say The Good, The Great, and The Bad? We thought those were only done for Sunday game recaps? Well welcome to this Sunday’s Special Off-Season Edition of The Good, The Great, and The Bad: Marlins Winter Meetings Edition! I know it’s a little weird to be doing this during the off-season, but it was a busy winter meeting so let’s jump into the quick recap- The Good: Mat Latos; The Great: Dee Gordon and Dan Haren?; and The Bad: Bye-Bye Fan Favorites. Enough with the quick recap let’s dive on in.
With Jose Fernandez out until the All-Star Break at the earliest (yup the hair is getting a bit long), the Marlins needed a veteran replacement to fill the hole and help mentor the young pitching staff. The Marlins got that when they made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for Mat Latos. Mat gets to come back home to South Florida and show what this Marlins team can do. Yes 2014 was an injury ridden season for Latos, but if he stays healthy until Jose comes back the team has itself a 180+ Strikeout pitcher (4 out of 6 seasons), a 10+ game winner (3 out of 6 seasons), and a veteran to lead this group. That sounds pretty good to me. Also, his wife is a riot on Twitter. Go give her a follow @Dallaslatos.
The Mat trade wasn’t how the Marlins made their splash at this Winter Meeting. The first splash came in the form of a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Marlins Gordon, Haren, Miguel Rojas, and cash from the Dodgers.
Miguel is a nice little utility infielder, but Dee and Haren are the meat and potatoes of this deal. With Dee Miami gets the speed it needed. Already, the top of the lineup with Gordon and Christian Yelich has been compared to the Marlins of 2003, and we all know how that went.
Dee led the Majors in steals (64) and triples (12). With as big as Marlins Park is and with as many gaps as it has, he can expect those numbers to go up in 2015. Dee is also under team control until 2019, and the Dodgers are paying him to play on the Marlins in 2015. With Dee the team has its everyday second baseman, which is something the Fish have been looking for for a while.
Now on to Haren. The Marlins do not know if Haren will play for the Marlins or retire like he said he would if he was traded out of Los Angeles. If he comes and pitches for Miami, the team gets a 3 time All-Star with 12 years of experience. He has also won 10+ games the past 10 seasons. This veteran, along with Mat, can shape a great pitching lineup. If he doesn’t come to Miami and retires, the Dodgers are still giving Miami $10 million dollars in compensation. All that sounds pretty great!
Now it’s time for the bad. With all these trades the Marlins had to let go of some fan favorites. In the Mat trade the team gave the Reds Anthony DeSclafani. As one of the pieces of the Toronto trade back in 2012, Disco became a fan favorite during his time spent in Jacksonville and Marlins Park.
In the Dee and Haren trade Miami sent the Dodgers Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney, and Enrique Hernandez. Andrew, a former 1st round pick and a high prospect according to MLB, grabbed the heart of the Marlin Family with his short time at Marlins Park. Hatcher and Kike were beloved at Marlins Park as well, with Hatcher getting the team out of jams when he would come in, and Kike giving Miami some big hits.
Finally there’s Barnes. Unless you are a diehard baseball fan, you may never have heard of Banes. However, if you live in Jacksonville you know Barnes very well. He helped the Suns win a championship this past season, was a player for the fans, and is an all-around nice guy.
The final fan favorite traded was Dan Jennings to the White Sox. This one hurt me personally. Last year I got to spend some time with Jennings and he was a very down to earth, cool, and quite possibly the nicest ballplayer I have ever met. To me, it was heart wrenching to see him go.
Baseball is a business and players come and go. These trades were Good and Great for the Marlins team and a little Bad for the fans, but we got some fun and entertaining players in return that are going to make next year’s Marlins fantastic to watch. In 2015 go to Marlins Park and welcome and cheer on the newest members to the Marlin Family! Until then… Let’s go Marlins!