The Miami Marlins seriously discussed a trade that would have brought Mike Fiers from the Astros at the deadline in 2016 (one other Marlins person suggested there was “momentum toward a deal”), but after Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton told club decision-makers he preferred Fiers not be a Marlin, the team went in other directions.
Judging by what happened this week between Stanton and Fiers, that was probably an excellent idea.
Some Marlins people were said ready to go ahead and make the trade, but sources suggest that team president David Samson and baseball president Michael Hill decided it would be prudent to ask Stanton’s opinion first, considering Fiers was the one who beaned him in 2014, causing severe damage to his face, and didn’t act especially apologetic after hitting Stanton or a second Marlins player, Reed Johnson, in the game (Fiers did apologize via twitter after that game, saying he was “deeply sorry” about the beaning, and said his in-game behavior was “in the heat of the moment” stuff).
The Fiers deal was for Luis Castillo, which would have been a bad deal, so Stanton actually did his team a favor. The Marlins then included Castillo — who some key Marlins people saw as a reliever — in the Padres deal for Cashner/Rea, and after that deal was re-worked, Castillo was sent to Cincinnati for Dan Straily, who is a better pitcher with more years of control than Fiers.
Anyway, Samson and Hill suspected there might be lingering hard feelings. And Samson, reached by phone, recalled, “I did speak to Stanton, and while he wanted the team to get better, his view at that time was that he’d prefer the team go in a different direction. I don’t blame him.”
One source suggested the deal for Fiers was just about done before Stanton’s opinion was weighed, but Samson suggested it was only one of the discussions they were having at the time. (Stanton didn’t immediately respond to a message.) The Marlins wound up making the trade for Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea instead. But everyone understood where Stanton was coming from.
Fiers, who happens to be a Fort Lauderdale product, ended Stanton’s 2014 season and caused great physical pain and damage that needed to be repaired by a plastic surgeon and dentist, then hit Stanton again this week in a game at Detroit. Stanton stared him down, then after Stanton homered in a later at-bat, pointed back toward Fiers, as if to say that he had answered him.
Fiers once again didn’t seem at all apologetic, even after he had time to think after the game, telling Tigers writers he felt Stanton’s behavior had been “childish.”
Two years later, it’s apparent Hill and Samson did the right thing going to Stanton. No sense making the clubhouse combustible over a No. 5 starter, even a decent one like Fiers.
Or as Samson put it, “The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.”
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