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David Brown

Marlins deal Maybin and Miller; Only 1 left from Cabrera trade

David Brown
Big League Stew

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After the Florida Marlins cut their losses this weekend, right-hander Burke Badenhop(notes) is all that remains from the Miguel Cabrera(notes) blockbuster trade.

A day after sending away left-hander Andrew Miller(notes), the Marlins dealt perennial outfield prospect Cameron Maybin(notes) to the San Diego Padres for relief pitchers Edward Mujica(notes) and Ryan Webb(notes).

So, the Fish have bolstered their bullpen big time — Mujica and Webb are young, good and major-league proven — and Badenhop isn't bad, either. But everyone else they acquired in the massive eight-player deal with the Detroit Tigers in December of '07 is gone.

Cabrera — while his salary is pricey — is one of the top five sluggers in the majors. Just 27, he's got a .313 career batting average and already has 247 homers. He still could win three or four MVPs.

Do you think the Tigers got the better end of the deal?

Miller and Maybin were No. 1 picks for the Tigers but Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski made the most of their value in exchange for an established star. Cashing in on potential is sometimes the smartest move a GM can make. The alternative could be waiting for that promise to develop and eventually settling for a nondescript trade in November.

And what could make this cautionary tale even more frustrating for the Marlins: Maybin is only 23 years old. Miller is just 25. Their careers haven't been defined yet.

Tom Krasovic at AOL Fanhouse notes that Maybin's potential is still there:

In Maybin ... the Padres get a super-athletic player who has the most upside of any center fielder they employ save Donavan Tate, a fellow former top-10 draft pick who has yet to play a full season in Single-A. [...]

Maybin's hitting potential is far more exciting. And it's not only potential. The right-hander has a superb .393 on-base percentage and a .478 slugging percentage in 418 minor-league games.

His major league results — .313 on-base, .380 slugging, 172 strikeouts in 610 plate appearances — have been disappointing. But being young and being in a new place are things in Maybin's favor.

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Three years ago, Miller appeared to be an untouchable prospect in the Tigers organization. Drafted from North Carolina in 2006, Miller was a September call-up as the Tigers made a run to the World Series that season. His numbers weren't great in eight appearances, but Miller's future looked bright.

Despite Miller's inconsistency in the majors, the Tigers managed to sell high, including him and Maybin for Cabrera. (Dontrelle Willis(notes) was also sent to Detroit in that trade. Tigers fans are trying to forget that.)

In a total of 58 appearances, 41 starts and 220 innings with Florida, Miller had a 5.89 ERA, 125 walks and a 10-20 record. That was apparently enough for the Marlins. On Friday, Miller was traded to the Boston Red Sox for reliever Dustin Richardson(notes).

Richardson appeared in 26 games for the Red Sox this season, striking out 12 batters in 13 innings. Unfortunately, he also walked 14 batters and allowed 16 hits. Additionally, left-handers batted .360 against him, which isn't good for a lefty reliever.

Trading one disappointment for another is certainly not what the Marlins had in mind when they originally acquired Miller. And they must not expect Maybin to become a star in San Diego.

That Cabrera trade looks better every day for the Tigers.

The Stew's Ian Casselberry contributed to this post

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