Marlins' Derek Jeter Taking Heat For Trading OF Giancarlo Stanton To The Yankees
The Marlins' trade of RF Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees "raised questions" about the tenure of new Marlins Chair Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter, according to Jared Diamond of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The arrival of Sherman and Jeter appeared to mark the beginning of a "new era for a team that last qualified for the playoffs" in '03, but they instead have "introduced themselves to South Florida by slashing millions off the payroll." The Yankees are sending 2B Starlin Castro and two prospects to the Marlins, and their take in the deal was "so little ... because they preferred another form of compensation: Loads of salary relief, a stated goal" of new ownership (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/10). The Miami Herald's Greg Cote said, "This wasn't a baseball trade, it was a financial deal. It's the same old, same old. Marlins fans went through a decade-plus of this under loathsome owner Jeffrey Loria, and everybody expected Jeter to ride in on a white horse and save everything. He's doing the same thing, which is minding his bottom line instead of product on the field." Cote: "The honeymoon's over with Jeter. We thought it would at least last until Spring Training started, but people are realizing he's just another owner" ("SportsCenter, ESPN, 12/10). Cote wrote Marlins fans are "stuck feeling the hangover" of the reality of new ownership. Trading both Stanton and 2B Dee Gordon to the Mariners last week was "zero about the team or winning and everything about dumping payroll, reducing debt and achieving financial stability." Cote: "Business first, baseball second. Finances first, fans second" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/10).
NEW TERRITORY FOR JETER: In N.Y., Ken Davidoff wrote Jeter’s popularity among Marlins fans "probably polls similar" to that of Loria and former Marlins President David Samson. This marks "more new territory" and "more challenges" for Jeter. Both his legacy and that of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who "very much wanted Jeter to get this opportunity, are on the line" (N.Y. POST, 12/10). SI.com's Jack Dickey wrote the "worst owner in baseball was finally replaced" when Jeter and Sherman took over the Marlins. However, they waited just two months before "embarking on another signature Marlins fire sale." Dickey: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. What a humiliation" (SI.com, 12/9). ESPN.com's Andrew Marchand wrote Jeter "might be approaching Jeffrey Loria-like levels of unpopularity" among Marlins fans, but he will still "receive his usual warm reception during his rare appearances" in N.Y. (ESPN.com, 12/9). Meanwhile, in Boston, Peter Abraham wrote MLB "should not have approved owners that couldn't afford to own the team." It is not fair to the rest of MLB that the Marlins are a "non-competitive team and the Yankees are able to get Stanton at a deep discount." Abraham: "It's bad optics that Derek Jeter becomes CEO of a team and trades his best player to the Yankees" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/10).
STILL GOES BACK TO LORIA: CBSSPORTS.com's Dayn Perry wrote the "real blame for the club's current straits" falls on Loria, who by signing Stanton to a contract "that's so long but pays him so little in the early years, created a problem for someone else." Perry: "I have no doubts that in November 2014 Loria knew he wouldn't be the Marlins owner when Stanton's tab really came due" (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/9). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde wrote critics of the trade need to "get off Derek Jeter’s back." The trade "isn’t about Jeter," because it is "still about" Loria's tenure as owner of the Marlins. Hyde: "Even when the former Marlins robber-baron is gone, his stench remains. It lingers in the decaying air over Marlins Park, just as it will for a couple of squalid years as his mess gets cleaned up" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 12/10).
DISAPPEARING ACT: On Twitter, several commentators criticized Jeter for not appearing at the Winter Meetings in the wake of the trade. ESPN's Buster Olney: "The Marlins are executing major franchise-changing deals, including the swap of their best player, and the head of baseball operations -- Derek Jeter -- should be at the winter meetings to explain the moves; it's a responsibility that comes with the title. He is not here." South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Hyde: "Jeter needs to surface and explain the Giancarlo Stanton trade to fans. That comes with the job. If he doesn't understand that ... another mistake by him." WPLG-ABC's Will Manso: "Jeter should be at the winter meetings representing the Marlins. No excuse for him not to be there. It’s a bad look."
OWNERSHIP COULDN'T FIX ISSUES: MLB Network's Dan O'Dowd noted whoever bought the Marlins was "going to be in this situation," as this is an organization that has "dug itself a hole." O'Dowd: "The only way they can become a well-rounded franchise is to take it down to the point where they can build through scouting and development and smart acquisitions. For years, it has been patching it together. Now they are trying to fix it and get it right" (“MLB Tonight -- Winter Meetings,” MLB Network, 12/10). In N.Y., Tyler Kepner noted franchise takeovers "are rarely tidy ... and the Marlins need change." Kepner: "For all of Stanton’s slugging ... the team never had a winning record in his eight seasons. The fans did not respond to his home run heroics; Miami has ranked last in the National League in attendance in 11 of the past 12 years" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/10).