• Loading stock data...
Saturday, May 18, 2024

A’s and Marlins Share (Bad) Traits, but Only One Is Waving the White Flag

  • Just one-fifth of the way into the season, team officials declare they are ‘unlikely’ to make the playoffs.
  • The forthcoming free agency of Luis Arraez played a role in the timing of the trade.
Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins fans are all too familiar with fire sales of the team’s rosters, a regular occurrence for the franchise for the past quarter-century, and one spanning multiple ownership groups.

But now, those deconstructions are seemingly happening earlier and earlier in a season. 

Just a week into May and nearly three months before MLB’s July 30 trade deadline, the Marlins parted with two-time batting champion Luis Arraez, arguably the team’s most marketable player, in a trade with the Padres. Miami sent Arraez and about $7.9 million in cash considerations to San Diego, leaving the Padres responsible for only a prorated share of the $740,000 MLB minimum salary, for four prospects. 

The Marlins reached the playoffs last year, raising hopes of a different era emerging under owner Bruce Sherman. But instead, a familiar pattern of roster gutting is happening again as the Marlins went into Monday’s game at the Dodgers with a 10–26 record, second worst in the National League. 

“We are unlikely to make the playoffs this year,” said Marlins president of baseball operations Peter Bendix.

In a pure statistical sense, Bendix indeed is probably correct, as FanGraphs gives Miami just a 0.5% chance of reaching the postseason. But barely one-fifth of the way into the 2024 season, it’s still a tough pill to swallow for a fan base who’s already taken many hits over the years. 

Bendix said, “The difficulty of a trade like this is magnified when it happens so early in the season.”

While the A’s are dead last in MLB in attendance—and with reason given the team’s impending move to Sacramento and Las Vegas—the Marlins are 29th at 12,598 per game, down 3% from a year ago. Tickets for Miami’s home game Friday against Philadelphia, the first back since the trade, can be purchased on official MLB partner platform SeatGeek for as little as $5. Tickets to other home games later this month can be had for as little as $2.

The Marlins also continue to spend well under what their market size and home stadium would suggest. Despite playing in the No. 18 U.S. media market and having a 15-year home ballpark largely built with public funds, the club’s 2024 payroll is 28th at just under $100 million. 

The A’s, meanwhile, have won eight of their last 10 games—including a weekend series win over the Marlins—to rise to third place in the AL West. 

More Timing Considerations

Former Marlins president David Samson, who presided over prior fire sales for the club, was supportive of the club on his podcast, Nothing Personal with David Samson. And he argued moving Arraez now allowed the team to maximize its trade leverage with the Padres given the player won’t be a free agent until after the 2025 season. Arraez is again eligible for arbitration after this season, but the Padres still have nearly two years of control of the 27-year-old. 

“If you know you’re going to take Arraez off your team and you know you’re not going to sign him [long-term], the question is when you get the most value for him,” Samson said. “The decision is not between May 3rd and July 30th. It’s between December 3rd and then May through July.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.

Chaos at the PGA Championship: Here’s What We Know

The No. 1 golfer in the world nearly didn’t make it to Valhalla Golf Club.

Mets Owner Faces Backlash After Tweet Sparks Trade Speculation

Mets owner Steve Cohen is walking back a now deleted tweet that further riled an impatient fan base.

The WNBA Rookies Are Creating a New Celebrity Row

Major celebs like Kim Kardashian and Latto are showing up for the newbies.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court


Featured Today

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.
May 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (1) of the Netherlands walks through the garage area following qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome.
May 5, 2024

Max Verstappen Is Unstoppable. Is That Hurting F1 With New American Fans?

Formula One could be facing an inevitable plateau in the United States.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

How the Golden State Valkyries Are Walking the Fine Line of Their Warriors Connection

The WNBA expansion team revealed a new name and logo Tuesday that align with—but don’t mirror—the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
May 14, 2024

WNBA’s Next Franchise Has a Name: Golden State Valkyries

They are the league’s 13th team and first expansion franchise since 2008.
May 15, 2024

Ted Leonsis Still Wants to Buy the Nationals, Add to D.C. Portfolio

Leonsis tried to buy the team in 2023, but the Lerner family opted not to sell.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
May 10, 2024

A Rising Pirates Star and His Famous Girlfriend Are Sparking National Buzz

Last year’s No. 1 draft pick will make his MLB debut, generating big expectations both locally and nationally.
May 9, 2024

Retail-Level Politics: Utah’s New NHL Team Owner Engages Fans Early On

A series of potential team names center on Utah’s status as a haven for winter sports.
May 9, 2024

Meet the … Utah Yeti? NHL Franchise Polling 20 Options for New Team Name

Jerseys will say ‘Utah’ for next season.
May 6, 2024

Potential Everton Buyer Accused of Enormous Fraud in Lawsuit

Miami-based 777 Partners faces its biggest legal blow yet.