The Miami Marlins entered a new era when Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter took over.
Whether we look back on this time someday as a success or a failure still needs to be written – that’s why they play the games, after all. What I’m planning on to focus on here are the four deals that initially gutted the Miami Marlins at the major league level, in dealing away four all-stars in short order.
Namely, the Marlins traded away four established major leaguers after the 2017 season and prior to 2018 – more-or-less for mostly unproven prospects. Trades that give away performance for potential is nothing new, but these four trades tugged at more than a few Marlins-fans heartstrings. It’s easy to get attached to a good performer when they’re raking for your team.
These trades turned the Marlins from a near-.500 team to a total cellar-dweller, resided in by Miami since then and culminating in a 57-105 record in 2019. Which was the worst of these deals – and which was the best?
Going by chronological order, the first of these deals to occur was the relinquishment of second baseman Dee Gordon on December 7th, 2017. The Marlins traded Gordon and $1 million in international bonus pool money to the Seattle Mariners for Nick Neidert, Christopher Torres, and Robert Dugger.
Since that time, Gordon has not produced at the same level for the Mariners as he did with Miami. After totaling 9.2 WAR in three seasons for the Marlins, Gordon has managed to be just 1.0 WAR in two years for Seattle. He’s slashed .271/.295/.353 in 258 games, with 52 stolen bases in 69 attempts.
In the meantime, Neidert has risen to the cusp of the majors, peaking last season with the Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. This, after he was 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League in 2018. Neidert is in the mix for a spot in the Marlins 2020 Opening Day rotation.
Dugger made his major league debut with the Marlins late last season, and went 0-4 with a 5.77 ERA over seven starts. He racked up a 1.456 WHIP in 34 1/3 innings, and finished at -0.6 WAR. Dugger is also a possibility for the Marlins rotation come March.
Torres, a middle-infielder, will be 22-years-old for Spring Training, and just completed a season with the Single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League. He hit .234/.346/.317 in 112 games, and is still at least two or three seasons off from making a possible impact with the parent club.
The name of the game in these trades are, ultimately, impact at the major league level. As such, this trade is currently slightly balanced in the Mariners favor, but could shift with an average season or two from the two pitchers.