Biggest trades for top MLB talent in Miami Marlins history

21 May 1998: Mike Piazza #31 of the Florida Marlins in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport
21 May 1998: Mike Piazza #31 of the Florida Marlins in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport /
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Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule/Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule/Allsport /

When the Miami Marlins landed their superstar

It’s kind of ironic that the Miami Marlins became famous for making the kind of trade that netted them Gary Sheffield back during their inaugural season.

It’s just that Marlins fans probably didn’t anticipate becoming famous for playing the part of the Padres in those transactions on what has at times seemed like an annual basis. San Diego badly needed to shed salary in 1993, to the point that it feels like a minor miracle they held on to Tony Gwynn. This front office decision benefited the Marlins immensely, as this same philosophy led to All-Star catcher Benito Santiago being available to them in free agency. So a bright young talent on the brink of superstardom was traded to a team willing to spend the money.

All it cost the Miami Marlins was a Hall of Famer.

Yes, Miami absolutely made the right call there. Even if he didn’t have a great year in 1997, Sheffield was vital to that first World Series title. Plus, he still might get to the Hall of Fame himself one day. All the same, dealing Trevor Hoffman was a blow, even for an ascendant talent like Sheffield. Keep in mind that just before the start of the 1997 season, the Marlins gave Gary Sheffield a contract extension that at the time was the biggest in MLB history.

Put another way, in terms of total dollars, he got a bigger deal than the most recent one Barry Bonds had accepted.

That extension was actually the second he signed with the Marlins, having agreed to another one in September of 1993. Very much a star, and very much a part of the Marlins grand plans moving forward. Jeff Conine might have been Mr. Marlin, but Sheffield was the centerpiece of Miami’s offensive attack and the franchise’s most marketable player. Not many baseball trades end as happily for both parties, and I’m not sure if any trade in Marlins history has been as impactful as the one they made two months into their first season of existence.

Twenty-nine years later, the Miami Marlins are apparently trying to pull off a similar trade.

Next. 3 Miami Marlins droughts about to end. dark

Obviously, I’d prefer if the price isn’t another Hall of Fame caliber arm. Then again, if the result is Miami’s third championship, it’d be worth it.