3 worst trades in Miami Marlins history

Christian Yelich
Christian Yelich / John Fisher/GettyImages
3 of 3


Here we are. The worst trade in Miami Marlins history. Can there really be anything worse than trading a Hall of Famer for scrubs? On December 4, 2007, The Fish traded third baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for a prospect package: OF Cameron Maybin, RHP Frankie De La Cruz, RHP Dallas Trahern, RHP Burke Badenhop, LHP Andrew Miller and C Mike Rabelo.

The stars of that package were Miller and Maybin. Miguel Cabrera was of course a superstar by the time of the trade. Cabrera burst onto the scene as a 20 year old in 2003, with a .268/.325/.468 batting line, with 12 home runs and 62 RBI in 87 games and 314 AB. In the playoffs, he batted .265/.315/.471 in 17 games and 68 AB. He was worth 0.6 WAR for that season.

In his first full season in 2004, Cabrera batted .294/.366/.512 with 33 home runs and 112 RBI in 160 games and 603 AB. Cabrera was worth 3.5 WAR. 2005 saw Cabrera finish top 5 in NL MVP voting, as he batted .323/.385/.561 with 33 home runs and 116 RBI in 158 games and 576 AB. He was worth 5.2 WAR.

By this point, Miguel Cabrera was clearly the best hitter on the team and one of the best young players in the game. In 2006, he batted .339/.430/.568 with 26 home runs and 114 RBI in 158 games and 576 AB. He was worth 5.8 WAR and was once again top 5 in NL MVP voting. In his final season with the then Florida Marlins (2007), Cabrera batted .320/.401/.565 with 34 home runs and 119 RBI in 157 games and 588 AB. He was worth 3.2 WAR.

Miguel Cabrera was worth 18.3 WAR and batted .313/.388/.542 during his time with The Fish. Cabrera was traded because then owner Jeffrey Loria seemingly just wanted to save money. Dontrelle Willis debuted as a 21 year old, in the World Series winning 2003 season. He delivered a 3.30 ERA/3.45 FIP, with 8.0 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 27 games and 160.2 innings pitched. He was atrocious in the playoffs with an 8.53 ERA in 7 games. He followed that up with a 4.02 ERA/4.01 FIP, with 6.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 IN 32 games and 197.0 innings pitched.

2005 was Dontrelle Willis's big breakout season. Willis delivered a 2.63 ERA/2.99 FIP, with 6.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 34 games and 236.1 innings pitched. Things went downhill for him from there. Willis delivered a 4.49 ERA/4.70 FIP, with 6.4 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 69 games and 428.2 innings pitched in 2006-2007. He was worth 17.2 WAR for his time on the then Florida Marlins, with 7.3 in 2005. Dontrelle Willis was soon out of the Majors, while Cabrera is on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Soooo how was that return again? Frankie De La Cruz had an 18.00 ERA/8.80 FIP in 6 games in 2008 and was out of the Majors a few years later. Dallas Trahern never made it to the Majors. Burke Badenhop had a 4.34 ERA/3.69 FIP in 151 games, failing as a stating pitcher and moving to the bullpen along the way. He was a solid reliever on other teams in the next few years, before being out of the Majors entirely.

Mike Rabelo batted .202/.256/.294 in 34 games and 108 AB in 2008, before being out of the Majors. Andrew Miller delivered an abysmal 5.89 ERA/4.49 FIP as a starting pitcher in 58 games and 220.0 innings pitched. He later reinvented himself as a successful reliever with different teams. Cameron Maybin batted .257/.323/.391 from 2008-2010, and didn't do much better after being traded away.

This was easily the worst trade in Miami Marlins history.

Next. Miami Marlins have an issue.... Miami Marlins have an issue.... dark