MLB Trade Deadline Fallout: Marlins, Phillies Abandon Preseason Plans
MLB's non-waiver trade deadline passed Tuesday afternoon, and the fact that the Marlins "completely abandoned their plan and went into a rebuilding mode with two months left in a season ... has the rest of baseball extremely concerned," according to Bill Madden of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. One MLB exec said, "There were always questions about whether that new ballpark was going to be the panacea the Marlins thought it was, and now that’s already proven not to be the case. They’re going to have the lowest attendance ever for a new stadium, and now that they’ve torn the team down nobody’s going to go there the rest of the season. It’s right back to where it was." The club Tuesday traded P Edward Mujica to the Cardinals and 1B Gaby Sanchez to the Pirates following earlier trades involving Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Madden wrote, "The big question now is, what do the Marlins do next winter with all the money they saved in these deals? It would seem they almost have to make another big plunge in the free agent market to maintain any credibility with what remains a skeptical, indifferent fan base" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/1).
IS IT STILL ALWAYS SUNNY? In Philadelphia, Bob Ford wrote Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "effectively extinguished whatever false hope might have still flickered for the 2012 season and steered the team firmly into a full-scale transition period" after trading RF Hunter Pence to the Giants and CF Shane Victorino to the Dodgers. The roster built by former GM Pat Gillick "had a shelf life, even as it was tweaked and augmented over the last few years, and Amaro decided, probably correctly, that the sell-by date was July 31, 2012." Team President & CEO Dave Montgomery said, "These things go in cycles. We are aware that decisions will have to be made down the road and that being in the postseason every year is certainly not guaranteed" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/1).
AUDITION TAPE: ESPN L.A.'s Mark Saxon wrote the deadline moves made by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti might have been his "last chance to prove to the new owners that he's not just a steward of the dark years, but the right leader for a new era in Dodgers baseball." In the span of a week, Colletti traded for Ramirez, Victorino and P Brandon League, executing the "most complete makeover in baseball, while preserving the core of the Dodgers' minor-league system." That, if nothing else, "should give the new ownership a head start on writing Colletti's contract extension" (ESPNLA.com, 7/31).
SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT: In Pittsburgh, Gene Collier wrote Pirates GM Neal Huntington "didn't wake up July 24 thinking his 2012 edition needed at least four transactions to reach the postseason," but opportunities "kept pounding on the door." Collier wrote, "The screaming you hear now is the Neal's-gotta-do-something crowd shifting into but-not-those-things mode, mostly because the more conspicuous prizes in the market" fell to the Dodgers and Giants. When the fifth-year GM "finally arranges the kind of talent that adds 15 wins a year ago and a projected 20 additional wins in the current season, you get to a point where you have to have some faith in him" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 8/1).