November 25, 2012 by Matt Musico
“I’m upset with how things turned out in Miami. Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”
The southpaw starting pitcher said he and his agent were wary in negotiations with the Marlins last winter before he decided to sign a four-year/$58 million contract because of the team’s past history of not offering no-trade clauses and backloading contracts in order to clear payroll via fire sales. The front office assured Buehrle and his family the team had a long-term plan and they wanted him to be a part of it for years to come in Miami. Well, we all know how that worked out.
In the wake of this trade, we’ve heard a number of players come out and talk about Miami’s reputation throughout the league when it comes to these fire sales. Giancarlo Stanton, who will likely be the only incumbent player left when the team takes the field in 2013, said former players came around often and warned them about this. It was bound to happen since the front office was offering these contracts based off of future revenues they were planning on bringing in with the new stadium. Could you imagine if Albert Pujols took the bait and signed with the Marlins, only to be traded a year later?
Various front office personnel have been interviewed since this deal went down and they said the organization will have to re-visit their policy of not offering no-trade clauses. Um… ya think? It was probably tough enough to lure players like Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell to Miami because of their past reputation. Now, it will be even harder to do so moving forward, unless they decide to change their organizational philosophy.
I was surprised to see the Marlins spend so much money last winter, like most people were, but I never thought for a second that this team would be a force to the reckoned with. Yes, they brought on some quality ballplayers, but building a winner doesn’t mean just paying for the top-tier of the free agent market and expecting everything to come together the next year for a post-season berth. They looked good on paper, but championships aren’t won on paper, they’re won on the field. When the 2012 Marlins squad hit the field, it was clear to see there wasn’t significant team chemistry to become a winning ball club.
Although I would never wish for players to sign with a team and get traded the next season (as they look for some stability in the careers), it serves the Marlins right to go through this because the foundation of their business plan was poorly made. Now, not only do they have to start from scratch with their roster, but they’ll have to regain the trust and respect from everyone in baseball in order to bring impact players back to South Beach, as well as luring fans in to pay the price of admission for a ballgame, which will prove to be their toughest task of all.