A Brief History of Marlins Stars
1) 1B Carlos Delgado — Signed as a free agent from the Toronto Blue Jays, where in eight full seasons he compiled 324 home runs and 1,023 RBIs. Delgado hit 33 home runs, 115 RBIs, .981 OPS and 160 adjusted OPS in his sole season in Florida.
Traded to the New York Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit and Grant Psomas. If you don’t know any of them, you’re in the super majority.
2) SS Jose Reyes — Signed as a free agent after leading the Majors in triples (16) and the NL in batting average (.337) in his last year with the Mets. After playing in 160 games in his first* — remember the knock that he’s never healthy — and scorching 12 triples and 11 home runs, he was traded with Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays.
*And only, duh.
3) C Mike Piazza — After the Fox-owned L.A. Dodgers didn’t want to award him an extension, they traded Piazza. The Marlins pretended for five whole games before unloading Piazza to the New York Mets. The Marlins got Mookie Wilson’s stepson Preston, Ed Yarnell and a guy whose name won’t enrich your lives.
4) OF Gary Sheffield — Shef played for the Marlins for a long time, but was only healthy for two seasons. Acquired from the San Diego Padres for Trevor Hoffman and a bunch of other dudes. After helping the team win the 1997 World Series, his salary was about to double. Of course he was unloaded in a deal that netted Mike Piazza.
5) Manager Jim Leyland — Won a World Series. High profile manager. He gets paid. He resigned one year after winning the Series, when the fire-sold Marlins finished 54-108. He was immediately hired by the Colorado Rockies, then in the middle of (a misguided) spending binge.
6) Manager Ozzie Guillen — Praised Fidel Castro while working in the only city left that still feels enough passion about the Cuban dictator to actually hate him. Fired after one season.
7) C Pudge Rodriguez — Signed a one-year contract to play in Florida after a stellar, two-way catching career in Texas. You know Yadi, right? Pudge was better in his prime. Florida won its second World Series. Pudge made one of the franchise’s most memorable plays. So of course they let him walk away. To Detroit! Who just lost 100-some games.
8) SS Hanley Ramirez — Acquired with Anibal Sanchez for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Bill Weed. He was a superstar in the making. There was that one fantasy year where 90 percent of people chose him first overall, ahead of Albert Pujols.
An irascible head case with a bad back, Ramirez nonethelss was the highest paid Marlin, because the Union was about to file a grievance against the Lorias for employing braceros below minimum wage.
So of course he was moved to L.A. when his value was at its lowest. He’s back to being a $200 million man. Welp.
9) LF/3B/1B Miguel Cabrera — He was already a great hitter, but because this was Florida we all focused on his disconcerting weight gain. Fans may forget about this now, but before he was the game’s best hitter, he was the game’s best eater.
Guillen, then a member of the White Sox, warned him, “When you’re young people call you cute and chobby, when you get old you’re just a fat ass.”
After an embarrassing DUI arrest that produced a hilarious transcript between him and an arresting officer, he’s a two-time MVP, a triple crown winner, and led Detroit back to the World Series while playing third base.
Miami got Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. They’re now useful replacement-grade players — but never for the Marlins.
10) 1B Derrek Lee — Acquired as part of a prospect package for SP Kevin Brown, Lee hit 15 percent better than league average from his age 22 to age 27 seasons, while averaging 22 home runs, 26 doubles and 70 RBIs. Great defender.
After winning the ‘03 World Series and dismantling again, Lee was traded to the Chicago Cubs because someone thought it would be a good idea to replace him with 1B Hee Seop Choi.
Choi burned out fast. Lee almost won the Triple Crown as Cub.