camdog, thanks for the breaking news post. Now, to flesh it out a bit.
The theme of the offseason for the Marlins this year has basically been Miguel Cabrera getting traded. Maybe Dontrelle Willis too, but mainly Miggy. The Marlins were talking deeply with the LA Angels, and in fact the Angels thought a deal had been worked out on 2 different occasions. Both times, the Marlins went back and said "You know what? We think he's worth more than that." The Giants were also interested, but felt the Marlins were asking too much: 4 players, at least 3 of them pitchers and at least 2 of the 4 with major league experience. The Dodgers were sniffing around, and the Mets and Phillies were desperately trying to trick the Marlins into trading Cabrera to a division rival. But the team that ended up getting Cabrera is the team noone really talked about.
The Tigers approached the Marlins at the Winter GM Meetings and basically said, "Listen, we're willing to give up our best field prospect and best pitching prospect AND a bunch of other guys...but we need Willis along with Cabrera." A few hours later, the deal was done.
Andrew Miller: 2005 #1 Draft Pick. Dominated at UNC. Blazed through the minors. 6'6", Randy Johnson type pitcher. Great heater.
Cameron Maybin: Finally, the Marlins have a Center Fielder. Another kid that blazed through the minor leagues. Maybin has basestrealing speed and home run power.
Mike Rabelo: A decent catcher that should be Treanor's backup. Miguel Olivo...it was nice knowing ya.
Eugolio De La Cruz: Pretty good in the minors in short outings. Could be a solid reliever.
Dallas Trahern and Burke Bradenhop: Basically the same thing, quality minor league starters. Both will probably start at AA Carolina, get a bit more seasoning, then come on board later. Could each be 2009 starters.
So the Marlins trade away 2 superstars and get SIX prospects, two of them top top top guys and the others pretty good. The Fish add even more young pitching, add some depth to the catching position, and Maybin will probably be the starter in center.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
THE GOOD: The Marlins once again extract a king's ransom for super talent. Rabelo's the only guy whose stats I looked at and went "Eh...". The rest could all be staples of a Marlins team down the line. Remember, Dontrelle Willis was once a young pitching prospect included in a salary dump deal. This front office does ONE thing right...scout young talent and pry it away from other teams.
THE BAD: All we lose to get this young talent is 200 innings worth of pitching and a .300 batting average with 30 home runs. That's all. Cabrera and Willis were also the last 2 Marlins to experience that magical night in New York, October 2003. The 2008 team, playing just 5 years later, has absolutely no connection to that team. In less than 5 years, an entire roster has turned over.
THE UGLY: It happens again. Great superstar players get traded right as arbitration rolls around. Can fans handle it another time? You can't call it a fire sale because it's not like this roster is loaded anyway. How many of the Marlins 71 wins were Cabrera and/or Willis responsible for? I bet together it was at least 9...which means we could be looking at a 100-loss Marlins team next year. And what does this do to the stadium talk?
To me, I only see 1 solution. 1 way that the Marlins get a new stadium, the team has money spent on them, the fans in Miami get a quality team in a new stadium.
Let the Marlins leave. Let them move to San Antonio or Las Vegas or wherever it is. My trust in Miami baseball is not gone. My trust in the Marlins is. I just feel...numb with them. Disconnected. They are my favorite baseball team right now but...I don't know if I can make myself care about them anymore. Let that team leave. Give it two years, tops. Some fat cat business man will see the money the Marlins made on TV and radio and stuff in Miami, and will want to bring an expansion team here. The league's TV contract will have sufferered for having lost the Marlins TV ratings (consistently high), so they will agree to expand the league by another team. Since Dolphin Stadium won't be an option, a new stadium will have to be a part of the deal. But that, in turn, ensures a stream of revenue that the owner can spend on the team. I can't guarantee that the new owner will be any more interested in spending money on Miami baseball than Loria (the Commissioner might be able to include some sort of guarantee of that, but I doubt that's legal). But I can guarantee that Loria isn't interested on ever spending money on the Marlins. He sees them as a profitable venture, a way to make money, not spend it.
I just feel that baseball in Miami needs a fresh start. Far too many negative ideas and feelings are associated with the Florida Marlins.