Business part of the game
Make no mistake, if the Marlins were in serious playoff contention Cody Ross would still be with the club.
Actually, holding onto hope is the main reason why the club didn’t receive any player compensation in return for one of the most popular Marlins in recent years.
Ross was rewarded to the Giants on a waiver claim after Florida lost 2-1 to the Astros on Sunday afternoon.
A few days ago the Giants placed a waiver claim on Ross.
The Marlins had until Monday to decide what to do. One option was to pull him back and retain him for the rest of the season. Another was to work out a trade with San Francisco. Lastly, Sunday’s scenario transpired. That was the Marlins simply said the Giants could have him, meaning they take on the remainder of his $4.45 million salary without giving up a player in return.
What San Francisco essentially did was take on the final $1 million or so left on Ross’ contract.
In the meantime, the Marlins will recall outfielder Cameron Maybin from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday when they open a three-game series with the Mets at Citi Field.
Maybin will get plenty of chances to see if he will be their center fielder of the future. Emilio Bonifacio also promises to see more playing time in the final few weeks.
So why weren’t the Marlins able to receive any player compensation for one of their most respected players on and off the field in recent history?
Bottom line is, the team was hoping to make a better playoff push rather than explore trade avenues for Ross. The best chance to get value in return would have been before the July 31 deadline. Not in late August.
In late July, many teams called, including the Red Sox and Braves, but the Marlins viewed Ross as a valuable player to make a second half push. So in the days and hours leading up to the non-waiver deadline, the Marlins made it clear it wanted to retain its regulars rather than move them.
Trades can still be made before Aug. 31, but the process is more difficult because potential deals must go through the waiver process.
Had Ross cleared waivers, the Marlins would have had a better chance to work out a trade with any interested team. By the Giants putting in their claim meant, and getting dibbs on him, meant the Marlins had to negotiate exclusively with them.
The Marlins could have pulled Ross back off waivers, and kept him for the rest of the season. Then they could have explored a trade in the offseason.
Why that didn’t happen is because the team didn’t view Ross as part of their plans for 2011. So they wanted to get a look at Maybin over these final weeks. By doing so, they cut ties with Ross.
It was a painful and emotional decision since he is such a popular player who has a history of productivity. The Marlins haven’t had such a fun-loving, universally liked player since Kevin Millar. Like Ross, Millar also was a fan favorite.
With Ross, cost also was becoming a factor. In the arbitration system, the 29-year-old was in line to see his salary rise to about $6 million in 2011.
The Marlins are in the process of trying to sign Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco to long-term contracts. So they are being careful with their dollars.
Ross, who is deserving of his raises, basically priced himself out of Florida.
— Joe Frisaro