The previous GM departed with a legacy of missed opportunities at the non-waiver trade deadline, which occurs today at 4 p.m. Will the current boss suffer the same fate?
Isn’t if funny how history repeats itself? Presenting the Florida Marlins, world champions in 1997 and 2003, serious contenders again in 2008, locked in discussions with the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates on a three-way megadeal to import Manny Ramirez for the stretch run. A game-and-a-half separate the Phillies, Mets and Marlins in the National League East. It’s very likely that such a deal would shift the balance of power to the Marlins, who will be getting 24-year-old right-hander Anibal Sanchez back on the mound tonight, joining a rotation that is healthy, young and on the rise. Sounds like the '03 Marlins all over again.
While Florida is thinking big, in Philadelphia, the Phillies are talking small. “Everybody wants a No. 1 pitcher,” Gillick told the Inquirer. “Everybody wants a No. 1 hitter. But sometimes you can't get them. Sometimes you can't take a giant step. Sometimes you have to take a small step.”
Beerleaguer: And sometimes you have to take the big step, like the Marlins are trying to do. If the Manny deal goes down, and the Marlins win it in a nose, it will define the Philadelphia legacy for Gillick, who is set to retire after the season. It would also be a crying shame. This could be the Phillies' last, best chance at post-season baseball. Florida's pitching staff will only get better, and the Mets will open the wallets to coincide with the opening of Citi Field.
“Big” doesn’t always mean “right,” but the Marlins have the historical edge in making smart, small deals, too, like the 2003 acquisition of closer Ugueth Urbina, followed ten days later by a Phillies’ trade for Mike Williams. The trade helped Florida snare the Wild Card and eventual world title, while the Phillies watched from home.