The Miami Marlins had their chances. Starling Marte wanted to remain in South Florida, to be a part of what the Marlins are building. The Marlins, by all accounts, wanted Marte to return as well. They had attempted to extend him during the season, only to trade him when the counteroffer was more than they expected. Then the Marlins were heavily involved in his market in free agency.
In the end, Marte signed a four year deal with the Mets. However, it appears as though he gave the Marlins every opportunity to bring him back.
Miami Marlins may have been Starling Marte’s first choice
Marte certainly made out well in free agency. As a soon to be 33 year old who relies upon his speed and is coming off a career year, his $78 million contract is likely more than anyone would have imagined.
That is likely the case with the Marlins’ front office. Their original offer for an extension – three years for $30 million – seems laughable now. Even Marte’s counter of $50 million over three years would have been a tremendous bargain in retrospect.
While the details of the Marlins’ final offer to Marte are unknown, Craig Mish makes it sound as though it was similar to his counteroffer back in July. It just goes to show how badly the Marlins miscalculated his market, to the point where they felt he would receive something between the two offers.
Even with that difference, Marte wanted to come back. He wanted to be a part of the Marlins’ future, and had they been willing to come close to the Mets’ offer, he likely would be back in Miami. Instead, they have a pitcher who is having difficulty getting anyone out and a gaping hole in center.
Starling Marte wanted to return to the Miami Marlins. All they had to do was to come close to the Mets’ offer and he likely would have returned.