Some Marlins notes, just days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Wednesday:
▪ The Marlins already have made history this offseason, in an inauspicious way.
According to The Ringer’s Ben Lindberg, the Marlins’ offseason payroll purging represents a bigger dismantling than any in MLB history, based on the metric WAR (wins above replacement).
“Even if they don’t deal another player, the Marlins will have made history,” Lindberg wrote. “In the months since Bruce Sherman officially succeeded reviled outgoing owner Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins — already a franchise known for fire sales — have one-upped both themselves and almost a century and a half of history, trading more WAR from the preceding season than any other team ever has in one winter.”
The Marlins, in fact, have had three of the 20 biggest offseason dismantlings in MLB history using WAR as the measure, Lindberg said.
They’ve also traded 22 of the top 25 players in franchise history in Lindberg’s estimation, excluding deceased pitcher Jose Fernandez.
The Marlins this offseason traded their entire starting outfield — National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich — plus second baseman Dee Gordon.
▪ Manager Don Mattingly, discussing his mind-set in a conversation with WQAM’s Joe Rose on Friday:
“This is going to be a huge challenge. But an exciting time. It’s truly an opportunity to clean the slate and start over and build this thing from the minor leagues up. That’s what we have to do in Miami.”
▪ Though catcher J.T. Realmuto has asked for a trade, Mattingly told Rose that he doesn’t think he will cause any problems if he remains with the Marlins.
“J.T. is going to be easy,” Mattingly said. “I don’t get involved in the management side or contracts, but J.T. is going to come, he’s going to be ready to play and he’s going to be great.”
Marlins executive Michael Hill, former Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine and ex-team president David Samson on Monday finished running seven 26-mile marathons on seven continents in seven days, a project that raised more than $1 million for charity.
Samson said everyone considered quitting at one point but none did.
“Everyone cried, everyone was sick and sore,” Samson said by phone this week. “The swelling was not to be believed.”
Coolest thing on the trip?
“The coolest thing was landing on the ice in Antarctica and going into a Russian substation and sitting with a bunch of Russian men who hadn’t seen a woman in 15 months. They were so excited to see women.”
Samson said current Marlins coach (and former manager) Fredi Gonzalez “texted us before every race, encouraging us. He said he was having a great wine and his feet were on the couch.”
Samson said a customs worker at Miami International Airport, on the final day of the marathon, approached him and Conine as they were dressing and said: “Hope you find work.”
Samson, who’s in excellent shape, said he didn’t lose any weight on the trip because despite running 183 miles, he — and everyone else — ate lots of potato chips, cookies and candy bars.
“I didn’t anticipate how serious the swelling would be,” he said. “We had a contest to show each other the ugliest body part” from “swelling and bruising.”
But he’s glad he did it. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” Samson said.