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For a Marlins team that had floated aimlessly through baseball purgatory—not good enough to contend for the playoffs but not bad enough to embark on a rebuild without angering fans—trading Stanton for a package of top young players would at least mean committing to one course of action.
The problem was, the Marlins appeared interested less in restocking their farm system and more in scrubbing Stanton’s large (but deserved) contract from the franchise’s balance sheet.
Louis for a similarly meager return.) As fans stewed, reporters prepared to grill Jeter at the Winter Meetings, baseball’s annual convention. While his colleagues in other front offices haggled with free agents in Orlando, Jeter was back in Miami, watching from a suite.
(His absence from the Winter Meetings was partially explained by his presence at an event benefiting hurricane victims.) A week later, he caught an earful from fans, including the legendary Marlins Man, at a turbulent town hall–style meeting, where one team supporter reportedly cried while asking Jeter why he hadn’t pursued any free-agent pitchers.
This version of Jeter didn’t materialize from nowhere, and it’s tough not to glance back at the former shortstop’s playing days in search of clues.
Did he fall on his sword for a teammate often enough as Yankees captain?
In September, the reported that the Marlins’ prospective new owners planned to cut payroll from 5 million (21st highest in baseball) to as low as million, a figure that would likely make them the cheapest team in baseball.
Instead of firing the franchise icons himself, Jeter reportedly delegated that awkward responsibility to the outgoing president David Samson.Almost immediately, Jeter began shopping Giancarlo Stanton, the reigning National League MVP and arguably the greatest player in franchise history.From a baseball perspective, trading Stanton was a defensible move.Once again, the Jeter-led franchise had created a problem for itself and made the situation worse at every turn.Of course, it’s unfair to pin the Marlins’ blunders on Jeter alone.