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Trades may bring special players - they have before


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Encouraging comments from Capozzi today:

 

Commentary: Trades may bring special players - they have before

 

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Sunday, November 27, 2005

 

Save for a few phone calls and a handshake at his introductory news conference last month, I don't know Joe Girardi, the new Marlins manager, that well yet.

 

So when Girardi told me Thursday that he expects the young, revamped Marlins to compete for the NL East title next year, I figured he was saying what he had to say, trying to put some positive spin to the darkest week in franchise history.

 

On Tuesday, the Marlins announced they would look into moving the team out of South Florida as early as the 2008 season.

 

On Thursday, in a span of five hours, the Marlins traded pitcher Josh Beckett (2003 World Series MVP), third baseman Mike Lowell (a three-time All-Star), first baseman Carlos Delgado (two-time All-Star) and reliever Guillermo Mota.

 

The players Florida got in return? Mike Jacobs. Yusmeiro Petit. Hanley Ramirez. Anibel Sanchez. Jesus Delgado. Harvey Garcia.

 

Not exactly household names? The bet here is that few, if any, Marlins have heard of any of those guys.

 

"Just because you're young doesn't mean you can't play," Girardi said. "It's just that nobody knows who you are yet."

 

Whether the Marlins can compete for the division next season, as Girardi expects, remains to be seen.

 

But history reminds Marlins fans to not be so quick to dismiss this newest harvest of players.

 

Remember the infamous "fire sale" of the 1997 championship team? The confetti from the World Series parade hadn't been picked up yet when that began ? first with Moises Alou, then Devon White and Robb Nen and Jeff Conine...

 

In all, the Marlins made 12 trades before the start of the 1998 season, then 13 more before the 1999 season. The Marlins acquired 41 players in those trades, with the majority fading into obscurity.

 

But there were a few who turned into key building blocks. First baseman Derrek Lee, from San Diego in the Kevin Brown trade, won a Gold Glove and helped the team win the 2003 World Series.

 

Pitcher A.J. Burnett came from the Mets in the trade for left-hander Al Leiter. Catcher Ramon Castro, who had some clutch hits in 2003, came from Houston in the Jay Powell deal.

 

Reliever Braden Looper, a key bullpen member in 2003, came from St. Louis in the Edgar Renteria trade.

 

And Mike Lowell, a raw Yankees prospect, arrived in spring training 1999 and became one of the cornerstone players in Marlins history.

 

None of the aforementioned players are still with the Marlins, a reminder that baseball is as much about dollars and cents as it is about heroes and goats.

 

But who's to say the players the Marlins got last week won't turn out to be special?

 

Ramirez was Boston's top prospect. The Marlins sent Delgado to the Mets not so much because of Jacobs, a first baseman who showed power last year, but because of Petit, who could become a top starter.

 

The Marlins might trade more players before the season starts, but the team's strategy should not be mistaken for a fire sale.

 

Like him or not these days, General Manager Admin Beinfest has a pretty solid track record in making trades. Remember his first big deal that sent Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs for a handful of players including a kid named Dontrelle Willis?

 

The prediction here is that the Marlins will not finish with a winning record in 2006, which could be the first of several lame-duck seasons in South Florida.

 

This is a market that was third-to-last in average attendance in 2005. It only can blame itself for not helping the Marlins pay for a ballpark, as so many other communities have done for their teams.

 

But don't be so quick to dismiss Thursday's trades as a Marlins Thanksgiving Day Massacre.

 

And remember that once upon a time in Marlinsland, names such as Derrek Lee, Mike Lowell and A.J. Burnett were just as obscure as Mike Jacobs, Hanley Ramirez and Yusmeiro Petit.

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I don't know why he had to put that lame duck statement in there...The article was fine up until then.

 

 

I wouldn't be 100%offended by this comment. Being a "Lame Duck" doesn't necessarily mean that we will suck. It just means that we will have a few seasons that maybe we will be a contending team but just fall short. I live in DC, so I dont read nearly as many article about the fish as some of you do but I know when a writer tries to write an encouraging article and this is most assuradly one here. Dont let one questionable statement, at-best, ruin the "meat and potatos" of the entire article.

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Lame Duck means the team will be moving elsewhere in a couple of years, and is going through a lame duck status in Miami. Doesn't refer at all to how well the team will do.

 

There's plenty to get insulted about there.

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