When Andrew Miller came in for the Orioles on Thursday night to face Miggy, my mind, well, boggled. ... I'd lost track of Andrew Miller, frankly, and there he was, his tall lanky self, with the announcers crowing about what a great pickup he had been for the Orioles from the Red Sox and how he had become a great fixture of the super Orioles bullpen.
Miller, one of the Tiger prospects in the Miggy trade that will live in infamy, was a bust as a Marlin. And what did we get for him when we finally traded him away in 2010? I had to look it up: Dustin Richardson, another complete bust, put on waviers the following year. Zero benefit there.
Maybe it's just my gloomy imagination, but it seems like a lot of folks seem to improve when they no longer have a Marlins uniform on. Here's what the Marlins got for some other players who are in the playoffs this year:
Jason Vargas -- six solid innings in a quality start for the Royals Thursday night. The Marlins traded him in the Mets on November 20, 2006 for Matt Lindstrom (who?) and Henry Owens (who?).
Omar Infante -- solid 2B for the Royals. Traded by the Marlins to the Tigers July 23, 2012 for Rob Brantly (two mediocre years with Marlins, spent all of 2014 in AAA), Brian Flynn (25 innings with Marlins over past two years, ERA 8.64) and Jacob Turner (4-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 2014 before being dumped to Cubs). Tigers complained that this was such a bad deal for them that they insisted we also throw in Anibal Sanchez. And of course we did.
Alejandro de Aza -- My buddy Orlando used to call him Mr. March or "Milk Carton" because he used to have great spring trainings, then vanish for the year with this or that injuries. Now starting outfielder for the Orioles. The White Sox claimed him on waivers in 2009 -- so the Marlins got nothing for him.
Josh Willingham -- reserve outfielder for the Royals after some solid years with Minnesota and Washington. Traded by the Marlins (with Scott Olsen) in 2008 for P.J. Dean (who?), Emilio Bonifacio (always a disaster in my opinion) and Jake Smolinski (who?).
And lest we forget ...
Miguel Cabrera -- top hitter in the ML (BA, HR, RBI, etc) since the Marlins traded him to Detroit. Just to pick at the scab once again, we got in return Andrew Miller (see above), Dallas Trahern (dumped by Marlins without getting any compensation), Mike Rabelo (dumped), Eulogio De La Cruz (dumped), Burke Badenhop (traded in 2011 to Tampa Bay for Jake Jefferies, who seems to have been out of baseball this year), and Cameron Maybin (traded in 2010 to Padres for Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb. Mujica, who showed considerable promise, was dumped to the Cards for Zack Cox, .282 with eight HR in AAA this year, and Ryan Webb, released 2013 and signed by ... the Orioles).
So the Tigers got Miggy, and we have ended up with a AAA third baseman.
Meanwhile, the Tigers saw something in J.D. Martinez, born in Miami, schooled in Broward. When he was released in March by the Astros after a mediocre performance, the Tigers picked him up and he had a super year ... and where were the Marlins?