The MLB “trade deadline” sets in today at 4pm. It is a looming thing because right now, you are looking at one of the better teams since the All Star Break in the Florida Marlins. They are 10-5 during that stretch, putting them up the charts a bit. The NL East standings haven’t changed too much – the Braves continue to marvel at the top while the Phillies made a big move to land Oswalt in their rotation. Still, the Marlins chip away and are winning games and remain within 7.5 games of that top spot held by the Braves, and 6.5 games in back of wild card leading San Francisco. At 52-51, they are over the hump and could make a climb that may push them into the postseason.
That is, if they keep Cody Ross. And that is coming straight from the horse’s mouth himself.
Cody Ross has stated that trading him away would be akin to waiving a white towel on the season. A recent article in the Miami Herald states his plea publicly. This is a great thing for a franchise that is perceived as being 2nd rate, it seems players actually like playing here and playing for this team.
Jorge Cantu, as classy a professional as they come, had a piece on FSN last night saying thank you and farewell to the fans of the Fish. He basically thanked everyone for their support and for sticking with him after Cincinnati gave up on him. He resurrected his career here in Miami, and now he is off to the Rangers to help them make a splash in the postseason. As his contract stood, he was not going to be retained by the Marlins after he became a free agent at the end of the season. No draft pick compensation and also, the Marlins had to make some room for their young studs, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison. Morrison will remain in left field while the Marlins plan to move Chris Coghlan to 3B for the remainder of the season.
Cody Ross is different in that he is under team control through the 2011 season. Trading him would have to make sense and with Cameron Maybin working his way back from a shoulder injury on July 2nd, the Marlins center field options would be tenuous at best. Emilio Bonifacio could see time until Maybin is ready, but even when that happens the Marlins would have an extremely young and inexperienced outfiled with Mike Stanton in RF and Logan Morrison in LF.
Juan C. Rodriguez makes a great point for keeping Ross, a trade now would put pressure on the rookie outfield and a deal wouldn’t have to be made right now. They could always trade Ross later in the season if the Marlins don’t chase the playoffs, although it would be more difficult to do so. They could also wait until the offseason and get something else for Ross if they so chose.
As a fan, you would like to see your favorite players stay and Ross has become something of a cult hero here in Miami. At the same time, the Marlins have to do what is right for the franchise long term, and Ross is mostly just a stop-gap until Maybin proves ready to take the reigns and move the Fish into the new era with the new stadium on the horizon.