Jeffrey Loria’s name is too common in households nowadays. He’ll make headlines once a month for moves that stir up the ire of fans and players within his own clubhouse.
Nothing incenses the ever-dwindling fan base like the “trades” this franchise has made under his reign beginning in 2003. The organization has shipped off or failed to re-sign multiple players that have gone on to have above-average to tremendous careers.
It seems like once a Marlin escapes Loria’s grip, they blossom, leaving fans with nothing but sighs and thoughts of betrayal. I present to you, the Ex-Marlins All-Star Team. (To qualify, a player must have been traded or left via free agency since the beginning of 2003.)
Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez: Pudge was only a Marlin for one year. He helped spark the team’s second championship run. But his success was too much for Loria to handle. Re-sign him? That’s blasphemy. He signed a 4-year, $40 million deal with the Tigers and went on to have three solid seasons that the Marlins could have used.
First Base – Miguel Cabrera: Loria traded Miggy and Dontrelle Willis for two top-10 prospects and four others. Why bother naming what Florida got in return when there is NO ONE left from that trade. The Cabrera deal will go down as this franchise’s worst move, and we’ll have to watch him go into the Hall of Fame donning another team’s cap. Cabrera has met or exceeded 30-100-.320 (HR-RBI-AVG) in every one of his four seasons with the Tigers. Sigh.
First Base – Derrek Lee: I know, I know. There should only be one first baseman, but Loria’s stingy ways know no bounds. The Marlins opted not to sign Lee and lost him to the Chicago Cubs. What’d he do there? 78 home runs and 205 RBIs in the following two years, while finishing third in the National League MVP race in 2005. The Marlins? They employed the talents of Hee Seop-Choi at first. Don’t remember him? You shouldn’t.
Second Base – Dan Uggla: Bear with me. Uggla definitely had some of his best years in Miami, but his success continued after breaking Loria’s shackles. He took a 4-year deal with the Braves and continued his tear the year after. He’s slowed down a bit, but on a power-starved team, his home runs would be welcomed.
Third Base – Mike Lowell: Remember him? He was hoisting the 2007 World Series MVP trophy with the Red Sox! A couple of years after being traded away, Lowell set personal bests for RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage and sheen on his goatee.
Shortstop – Hanley Ramirez: I was a bit weary throwing this castoff on here. Hanley’s best years may be behind him, but compared to the players we’ve been throwing out at short and third (Chris Valaika? Who?), Hanley looks like Babe Ruth on steroids. Still an incredible talent dismissed for filth in return.
Outfield – Josh Willingham: I bet you forgot we even had this guy. I did. They shipped “The Hammer” to the Nationals in 2008, and while the Marlins got Emilio Bonifacio in that deal, it doesn’t make up for Willingham’s 108 homers since.
Outfield – Cody Ross: Now, Cody Ross is probably the least impressive of this bunch, but it’s the way with which the Marlins let him go that earns him a spot. The San Francisco Giants claimed him off waivers and what’d the Marlins get back? Zilch. Naturally, he became a World Series hero that same year as a metaphorical “Eff You” to Loria.
Outfield – Giancarlo Stanton: I’m writing this in advance for next November. As if this fan base wasn’t riled up enough.
Starting Pitcher: Josh Beckett: Waved goodbye, along with Lowell, in the 2006 trade. Much like the third baseman, Beckett had his best season in 2007 with a 20-7 record and a 3.27 ERA. The Red Sox had the best team ERA in the American League that year.
Others that could have been on here or soon will be: A.J Burnett, Anibal Sanchez, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Christian Yelich, Jose Fernand—oh wait, those last two will come soon enough.