The Miami Marlins are in fire sale mode this offseason as they have already dealt reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. Most of these moves are for ownership, now under Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman to "dump salary" as they look to rebuild. The Marlins had a very solid position player corps last year but lacked pitching. Financial situations have cuffed the team into having to rid themselves of big contracts, but sadly for the Marlins faithful, the returns in the trades have not included a lot in terms of player talent -- at least not for the value of what they traded away.

This is not new to those who follow the Marlins. While the history of the franchise only spans back to the late 90s, they have had an infamous reputation as being a team that holds massive fire sales or trades big players away -- even after two World Championships.


The Marlins (then the "Florida Marlins") won their first title in 1997 in seven games over the Indians. It was a very good team that had a lot of young players mixed in with solid veterans. After they won, the fire sale of 97' began. Much of the team's top talent was sent away via trades, which included Gary Sheffield, Edgar Renteria, Moises Alou, Al Leiter, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, and Jeff Conine -- all of which were positive players.

The returns were not much in terms of players having success outside of Derrek Lee and A.J. Burnett, who were part of the 2003 World Series team. Some players did not make it with the club and others did but did not have particularly great MLB stints in Miami. The 1998 Marlins ended up losing 108 games. Though they won another title six years later, it was probably hard for Marlins fans to see the 1997 team dismantled the way it was.

Trading away Cabrera

One of the Marlins' greatest players in their history was Miguel Cabrera. He came up in 2003 at the age of 20 and took the league by storm. The future first-ballot Hall of Famer played his first five years (2003-2007) in Miami, slashing .313/.388/.542 with 138 home runs and 18.2 WAR. At the age of 24 he was ready to hit his absolute prime, right when the Marlins traded him away.

In one of the more controversial deals over the past decade in baseball, the Marlins sent Cabrera to Detroit along with Dontrelle Willis for Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo (plus a minor leaguer).

Cabera went on to Detroit, going to seven more All-Star games, winning back-to-back MVP awards and a triple crown in 2013. Meanwhile for the Marlins, Maybin never developed into the star he was projected to be, Andrew Miller failed miserably as a starter and became a star reliever after leaving, De La Cruz pitched a total of 18 innings in a Marlins uniform, Badenhop had an okay 2009 year but that is about it, and Rabelo hit .202 in 34 games in Miami.

To this day this trade makes Tigers fans laugh and Marlins fans cringe.

2012 disaster

The Marlins moved to a brand new stadium with a retractable roof and a new name. They put together a team that included veterans Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Carlos Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Heath Bell, Hanley Ramirez, a young Giancarlo Stanton, and manager Ozzie Guillen. The Marlins aimed for their first playoff berth since 2003. It did not go nearly as well as they had hoped.

Instead of contending they finished 69-93. Guillen was fired and another fire sale began. Reyes, Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck were all sent to the Toronto Blue Jays in a massive deal. The Marlins got a number of players back but only two of them had any sort of impact in Miami. Henderson Alvarez had an All-Star season in 2014 and Adeiny Hechavarria had some solid years as a Marlin, but that was about it.

Giancarlo Stanton was not happy about it.

It could be a very rough few years in South Beach for Marlins fans, even under new ownership.