July 4, 2012
• Acquired first baseman Carlos Lee from Houston for former first-round pick and third baseman Matt Dominguez, and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.
This was the only one of the nine trades that added payroll and was made with a win-now approach. It didn’t help. Lee batted .243 in 81 games and is now out of baseball. The Marlins concluded Dominguez wouldn’t hit enough to be an everyday player. But he has hit 20 homers and driven in 75 runs, more RBI than any current Marlin.
• Acquired catcher Rob Brantly, right-hander Jacob Turner and left-hander Brian Flynn from the Tigers for right-hander Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante.
The Marlins weren’t going to be able to afford Sanchez (five years, $88 million) anyway at the end of last season. He has been a gem for Detroit (14-7, 2.50 ERA, 178 strikeouts in 2013) and Infante (.320, 9 HR, 45 RBI) has been decent.
The deal hasn’t been a disaster because Turner (3-3, 3.46 ERA in 18 starts) has developed into an effective starter. Flynn, the Marlins’ ninth-best prospect according to MLB.com, emerged in the minors (7-12, 2.63 ERA) and could compete for a rotation spot eventually. But Brantly (.218, 1 HR, 18 RBI) regressed this season and probably isn’t the long-term solution.
• Acquired right-handed pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough from the Dodgers for shortstop Hanley Ramirez and left-handed reliever Randy Choate.
The Marlins believed Ramirez, the National League’s 2009 batting champion, would never lead them to a championship or anything close. But he has played far better for the Dodgers than he did here, hitting .342 with 18 homers and 53 RBI through his first 79 games this season and helping lead Los Angeles to a division title.
The Marlins love Eovaldi’s stuff and believe he can be, at worst, a middle-of-the-rotation piece for years. But he missed the start of the season with an injury and is now injured again after going 3-6 with a 3.80 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in 15 starts this season. McGough has pitched well in Double A and Triple A (4-4, 2.82 ERA).
“Eovaldi has thrown over 100 miles an hour a bunch of times this year, which I know [Giants manager] Bruce Bochy and I discussed,” Kurkjian said. “They never saw him throw that hard when he was in L.A.. That’s a really good sign they got a young hard thrower like him. Turner is going to be a very good pitcher and showed it at times this year.
“I saw them recently, and Mike Redmond was pretty happy with the number of young pitchers that have come along and I think that’s the only way to build a franchise — with as many young pitchers as possible. And I think the Marlins have done a pretty good job with that. They have a pretty good collection going.”
• Acquired minor-league third baseman Zack Cox from the Cardinals for reliever Edward Mujica.
Perhaps the worst deal of them all. Mujica (2-1, 2.33 ERA, 36 saves), making $3.2 million in arbitration, blossomed into an All-Star closer this season. Cox has been decent, but the Marlins don’t view him as a potential everyday player in the big leagues because of his limited power and defensive limitations. They used their first-round pick to take Colin Moran out of North Carolina and are expected to give Chris Coghlan a strong look there next season.