There was a time in May, when the Heat were on their way to a championship, the Panthers had won their first ever division title, and the Marlins completed the best record that month in MLB, when we had a glimmer of hope (albeit somewhat tempered by the Dolphins) that this may be the first year since 1997 that all four South Florida pro sports team made it to the postseason. Well, the Marlins have pretty much officially given up all hope of making it to the playoffs this year, and signaled as much by trading Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. Players like Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell and Josh Johnson may be the next to pack their bags.
Larry Beinfest, the team's president of baseball operations, pretty much signaled that the move was the end of the Marlins' hopes of getting to the postseason for the first time since 2003.
"Let's face it," he said while announcing the deal, according to The Miami Herald. "The current group that was here was not winning. We've lost contact with the division. We've pretty much lost contact with the wild card. It was time to restructure."
Infante and Sanchez are headed to the Detroit Tigers. In exchange the Marlins will get a trio of minor league prospects, including right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner, left-handed hitting catcher Rob Brantly and left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn.
The trades might not be over. Other teams are currently scouting pitcher Josh Johnson. Hanley Ramirez and Heath Bell, who were rumored to be on the table in a failed deal to bring the Red Sox's Carl Crawford to town, may very well still be on the table.
The Marlins were eager this off-season to put together a team that excited fans as they moved into their new stadium. Their name was brought up as a possible landing space for just about every coveted free agent, and they grabbed an odds and ends assortment of big players, many of whom were at the wrong end of their career, without thinking much about how to put the team would gel together.
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It was a study in how not to turn a team around in a single season, and the result shows that the historically cheap Marlins should have been quietly putting together pieces of a contender in their last few seasons at Sun Life Stadium instead of waiting until just before moving day into their new Little Havana park before going on a shopping spree.
The upside of all this, we guess, is that the Marlins will still probably hold on to the dubious distinction of being the only team in the MLB to have never lost a playoff series. Yes, that means two World Series Champions. But that also means 18 mediocre seasons when the team was left out of the playoffs.
When does the Heat's season begin? Oh, right, October 30. Maybe we'll get all four teams in the post season again in 2013 ...wait isn't the world supposed to end by then?