The time the Miami Marlins had a Hall of Fame Catcher for 8 days

Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

On May 14, 1998, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded C Mike Piazza and 1B Todd Zeile to the then Florida Marlins for RF Gary Sheffield, 3B Bobby Bonilla, C Charles Johnson and Minor League OF Jim Eisenreich and RHP Manuel Barrios. This didn't last long... eight days later on May 22, the then Florida Marlins traded Piazza for OF Preston Wilson, LHP Geoff Goetz and LHP Ed Yarnall.

The Miami Marlins had Hall of Fame C Mike Piazza for eight days.

The then Florida Marlins won the 1997 World Series, but then ownership claimed to not being able to afford the team, doing a notorious sell-off. The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't want to pay their upcoming free agent and superstar C Mike Piazza. The soon to be Miami Marlins (well over a decade from then), wanted to cut payroll.

Gary Sheffield batted .292/.378/.479 after being traded to The Fish in 1993. He then batted .288/.436/.557 from 1994 to 1997, and .272/.392/.500 in 1998 prior to his trade. He was worth 13.0 WAR for that time. With LA, Sheffield batted .316/.444/.535 for the rest of 1998. He then batted .312/.421/.581 from 1999 to 2001 with LA. He was worth 21.4 WAR for that time. Bobby Bonilla batted .297/.378/.468 the previous season, then .278/.355/.454 prior to the trade. He was a disappointment in LA, batting .237/.315/.360 in 1998 with LA and then was gone.

Manuel Barrios never made it past a few outings in the Majors. Jim Eisenreich was a solid bench player for The Fish, but was a failure in LA batting just .197/.266/.244 in 1998, before being let go as a free agent. Charles Johnson was nothing special with The Fish, and worse with LA . He batted .217/.279/.358 and was traded after the season.

Todd Zeile was just OK in LA, but was better with the Marlins, batting .291/.374/.427 for the rest of the season, before being traded after. Mike Piazza batted .334/.398/.576 from 1992 to 1997. In 1998, he batted .282/.329/.497 with LA, .278/.263/.389 with The Fish and .348/.417/.607 with the Mets. He played for the Mets through the 2025 season, winning a pennant and accumulating 24.6 WAR and ending up as the best catcher in franchise history.

The second trade didn't work out at all for the Miami Marlins. Neither Geoff Goetz or ed Yarnall made it to the Majors, while Preston Wilson was more of a one-hit wonder. Imagine if The Fish kept Piazza and actually extended him.

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