Three Moves that Sunk the Miami Marlins in 2015 and Beyond

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July 26, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (28) reacts during the third inning after allowing a run against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dee Gordon Trade:

I know this is the trade that’s going to get the most kick back from Miami Marlins fans for me calling this a mistake for the team. The thing is, the problem does not lie in Dee Gordon, rather, it’s the value the team gave up, so the Dodgers would cover the salaries of Dan Haren and Dee Gordon. 

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Around this time, reportedly the Marlins started to rate Justin Nicolino as a better pitching prospect than Andrew Heaney. This was a major mistake, as Heaney was universally rated as a top 100 prospect that could develop into a 2/3 starter for the team long-term.

Instead, the team preferred the pitch-to-contact, cannot strike many guys out pitcher in Justin Nicolino. The team was not concerned with his lack of strikeouts in Double-A for whatever reason.

This came to a head when the team negotiated with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Dee Gordon trade. Reportedly, the Dodgers initially asked the Marlins for Justin Nicolino, figuring Andrew Heaney would be off-limits.

I did not mind the Marlins trading for Dee Gordon at all. But I stated before the trade on Twitter that I would not trade Heaney straight up for Gordon. So if we remove him from the deal and insert Nicolino instead, the trade starts to look better.

The confusing thing about Heaney is how the team made him untouchable at the 2014 trade deadline, but were almost literally giving him away during the off-season. Apparently less than 30 major league innings were enough to convince the Marlins that Heaney was not going to make it in the majors. How wrong they are.

A package of Justin Nicolino, Austin Barnes, Enrique Hernandez, and Chris Hatcher for Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Miguel Rojas looks a lot more respectable and is probably universally hailed.

Instead of Nicolino, the Marlins have Heaney beginning the season in the minors and eventually joining the Marlins rotation to help. He has a 1.79 ERA and a 3.02 FIP in 40 innings for the Angels this season.

Now if we take it a step farther and remove the cash the Dodgers had to send over to Miami, you can probably remove Barnes or Hernandez from the trade, and it looks like a very fair deal for both sides. A Nicolino, Hatcher, and one of Barnes/Hernandez trade for Gordon and Haren seems fair for both sides.

Instead, the Marlins went the cheap route, while also being misguided about Heaney and Nicolino. A double whammy that is killing the Fish today.

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