10 biggest trades in Marlins history

December 2nd, 2021

MIAMI -- From their inaugural 1993 season to the present, the Marlins have never shied away from wheeling and dealing.

Throughout the club's history, a willingness to make moves has netted the organization a number of core players who were instrumental to the 1997 and 2003 World Series title teams. Gary Sheffield, Darren Daulton, Dontrelle Willis, Juan Pierre and Mike Lowell all became Marlins via trades.

On the flip side, not every deal has panned out (Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers still stings) -- and being overly aggressive when parting with All-Star-caliber players has long been a sore subject for fans.

MLB.com has sorted through the Marlins' all-time trades and ranked the 10 biggest in history.

1. Shaking things up with Sheffield
Marlins got from Padres: INF Gary Sheffield and LHP Rich Rodriguez
Marlins gave up: RHPs Trevor Hoffman, Andres Berumen and Jose Martinez
Date: June 24, 1993

The first truly big deal in franchise history came a few months into the then-Florida Marlins' inaugural season. Sheffield, a third baseman at the time, was the defending National League batting champion. He became an All-Star starter in 1993 with the Marlins -- although the voting came while he was with San Diego. Sheffield developed into a premier power hitter in the Majors, belting 509 home runs. The slugger was an outfielder on the Marlins' '97 World Series title team, and he enjoyed a spectacular career. Hoffman, of course, became a Hall of Fame closer, making this one of the most impactful trades ever.

2. All aboard the D-Train
Marlins got from Cubs: LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Julian Tavarez, C Ryan Jorgensen and RHP Jose Cueto
Marlins gave up: RHPs Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement
Date: March 27, 2002

Late in Spring Training, the Marlins shed some payroll by dealing Alfonseca, a proven reliever, and Clement, who was part of their rotation. The lone big league-ready player in the deal was Tavarez, a quirky journeyman who joined the rotation. The player who turned out to be the steal of the trade was Willis, the energetic left-hander with a high-kick delivery and an infectious personality. A year later, Willis caught the imagination of the baseball world, as D-Train Mania was born. Willis was the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year Award winner. The lefty was also an All-Star and a key player on the World Series title team. Willis went 22-10 in '05 and remains the only Marlins pitcher to reach the 20-win plateau.

3. Thanksgiving surprise
Marlins got from Red Sox: SS , RHPs , and
Marlins gave up: RHP Josh Beckett, 3B Mike Lowell and RHP Guillermo Mota
Date: Nov. 24, 2005

Announced on Thanksgiving night, the Marlins pulled off perhaps the most balanced trade in franchise history. As tough as it was to part with Beckett and Lowell -- faces of the franchise -- the Marlins acquired Ramirez and Sanchez, who both became standouts. Ramirez was the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year Award winner, while Sanchez threw a no-hitter as a rookie that season. Ramirez was voted by the fans to start three All-Star Games, and he was the '09 NL batting champion. Ramirez and Sanchez never went to the postseason, but they were on the '08-09 teams -- the organization's last winning campaigns. Beckett and Lowell, of course, were big parts of the Red Sox's '07 World Series championship squad. This trade was actually announced the same night the Marlins also dealt first baseman Carlos Delgado and cash to the Mets for first baseman Mike Jacobs, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit and infielder Grant Psomas. Thanksgiving '05 remains the biggest night of major trading in franchise history.

4. Blockbuster with Blue Jays
Marlins got from Blue Jays: SS , RHP , C Jeff Mathis, RHP Anthony DeSclafani, OF Jake Marisnick, LHP and INF
Marlins gave up: SS , RHP Josh Johnson, C John Buck, LHP Mark Buehrle, INF Emilio Bonifacio and cash
Date: Nov. 19, 2012

Perhaps the most criticized trade in franchise history, the 12-player deal ended up paying off for the Marlins, but it came with a huge public relations backlash. Less than a year after signing Reyes and Buehrle as high-priced free agents, the two veterans -- and their salaries -- were sent to Toronto. The Marlins made the unpopular decision one year after loading up on free agents (they also signed Heath Bell that year) in an effort to make a big splash in their inaugural season at Marlins Park. When Miami got off to a slow start, ownership opted to unload core players. In hindsight, the blockbuster trade was a good baseball trade. Hechavarria became the everyday shortstop. Alvarez threw a no-hitter and was an All-Star as a Marlin. Mathis was a solid backup catcher. Marisnick and DeSclafani were used as trade pieces a few years later. Also of note with this trade: Miami shed about $160 million in salaries, creating the flexibility to sign Giancarlo Stanton to his record 13-year, $325 million contract after the 2014 season.

5. Blockbuster gone bad
Marlins got from Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin, LHP Andrew Miller, C Mike Rabelo, RHPs Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern and Frankie De La Cruz
Marlins gave up: 3B/1B Miguel Cabrera and LHP Dontrelle Willis
Date: Dec. 4, 2007

The blockbuster trade highlighted the 2007 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., but the Marlins ended up having little to show for it. Prompted by the fact the Marlins had been unsuccessful in securing funding for a new ballpark, the organization parted with the final two major pieces of its '03 World Series title team. At the time, the Marlins had a young Ramirez, so they felt they could deal Cabrera. They also had young right-handers like Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Sanchez, which led to Willis being moved. But the results of that specific trade didn't materialize for the Marlins. Miller struggled with mechanics and had a 5.89 ERA in 58 games (41 starts) as a Marlin. He later became an All-Star reliever. Maybin didn't pan out in the outfield. Badenhop actually became the most productive Marlin of the group. Cabrera has compiled Hall of Fame-worthy numbers with the Tigers, and Willis was never able to return to the level he was at earlier in his career with Florida.

6. Lowell for Yarnall
Marlins got from Yankees: 3B Mike Lowell
Marlins gave up: LHP Ed Yarnall, RHPs Todd Noel and Mark Johnson
Date: Feb. 1, 1999

The emergence of Scott Brosius in 1998 made the Yankees comfortable enough to deal their once-considered third baseman of the future. Lowell, who grew up in Miami, was dealt to the Marlins, and became one of the best players in franchise history. Lowell played in parts of seven seasons with the Marlins, from 1999-2005, and he belted 143 home runs with the organization. With the Marlins, he was a three-time All-Star, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winner and drove in 105 runs in '03.

7. Daulton for McMillon
Marlins got from Phillies: 1B Darren Daulton
Marlins gave up: OF Billy McMillon
Date: July 21, 1997

Dealing for a rental paid off in a big way for the Marlins, who were looking for experienced depth for their second-half postseason push, as Daulton became a vocal leader on a team that went on to win the World Series. At age 35, Daulton had been to the World Series in 1993 with the Phillies. He also had undergone nine knee surgeries and was confined to mostly playing first base. But Daulton made an impact on the field and in the clubhouse, and many feel he was a needed spark on the Marlins' first World Series title team.

8. Urbina for Gonzalez
Marlins got from Rangers: RHP Ugueth Urbina
Marlins gave up: 1B , LHP Ryan Snare and OF Will Smith
Date: July 11, 2003

In their march towards the postseason in 2003, the Marlins needed bullpen depth and jumped into the trade market, acquiring Urbina -- then one of the top closers in the Majors. It came at a hefty price with Gonzalez, the first overall pick in the 2000 Draft, headlining the deal. At the time, Gonzalez was blocked by Derrek Lee at first base. The trade amounted to parting with a perennial All-Star, in Gonzalez, to increase the chances of winning a World Series. That's exactly what happened for the Marlins. Urbina posted a 1.41 ERA in 33 appearances with the Marlins, and he was the closer in the postseason.

9. Castro for Stanton
Marlins got from Yankees: 2B Starln Castro, RHP Jorge Guzman and SS Jose Devers
Marlins gave up: OF Giancarlo Stanton and cash considerations
Date: Dec. 11, 2017

Citing the lack of depth needed to seriously contend, the Marlins made the unpopular move of trading arguably the most productive player -- during his Marlins tenure -- in franchise history. Stanton set a club mark with 59 home runs and became the lone Marlins player to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award in 2017. But with the organization redirecting, Stanton, who has a full no-trade clause, agreed to the deal with the Yankees. He was owed $295 million through the remaining years of his contract. In return, Castro is a proven second baseman and provided a veteran presence in '18. Guzman is a hard-thrower and ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 6 prospect. The 22-year-old right-hander is expected to open at Double-A Jacksonville. Devers, Miami's No. 13 prospect, is an exciting talent, who projects as the shortstop of the future. A left-handed hitter, Devers has an advanced swing and projects to hit at the top of the order. The 18-year-old reached Class A Advanced Jupiter in his first season with the Marlins.

10. Brinson for Yelich
Marlins got from Brewers: OF Lewis Brinson, OF Monte Harrison, 2B Isan Diaz and RHP Jordan Yamamoto
Marlins gave up: OF Christian Yelich
Date: Jan. 25, 2018

With the Marlins in building mode, Yelich publicly stated he wanted to be traded. Initially, Miami was planning to move forward with Yelich as one of its core players, but those plans changed when the Brewers presented a package that included several of their top prospects. Brinson, the hometown kid and centerpiece of the deal, was designated for assignment on Nov. 30, 2021, after posting a 55 OPS+ in parts of four seasons. Harrison has appeared in just 41 big league games. Once considered the second baseman of the future, Díaz lost out on the 2021 starting job to Jazz Chisholm Jr., and has just a .562 OPS in 145 MLB games. Yamamoto recorded a 1.59 ERA through his first six MLB starts in 2019, but he couldn't regain that form and was DFA'd in '21 before being traded to the Mets. Though Yelich won the '18 NL MVP (and nearly the '19 Award), he has just a 103 OPS+ and has battled back problems since.