Derek Jeter skips Winter Meetings, but calls in to blame Giancarlo Stanton

Big League Stew

New Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter has already made some drastic moves that will dramatically impact the team moving forward. But since trading away both Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton, no one from the organization has spoken about the deals.

Baseball’s Winter Meetings gave him an opportunity to do just that. But when reporters got to Orlando for the festivities, they noticed something significant: Jeter was nowhere to be found:

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Keep in mind, the Winter Meetings are in Florida. It’s a three-hour drive from Miami to Orlando. It’s a little over an hour to fly there.

Jeter did finally address the Stanton trade, but not in person. He held a conference call in which he expressed his displeasure in the negative press he is currently receiving, and then blamed Stanton for forcing the Marlins to make a deal.

It’s tough to fully parse through all of that considering the stories that have come out of Miami since Jeter’s group took over. For a long time, Jeter admitted he had not spoken to Stanton about the trade rumors. If Jeter eventually met with Stanton, as he says he did, it must have been after everything was made public.

And at that point, can you blame Stanton for telling him he wanted out? It’s been an open secret that the Marlins new ownership group has made cutting the team’s payroll a major priority. There was even a report that they told Stanton if he stayed, they would trade away everyone else. The team somewhat followed through with that by dealing Gordon to the Seattle Mariners just days before the Stanton deal. The Gordon move sent a clear message: We don’t plan on contending with you or without you.

Derek Jeter finally spoke about trading away Giancarlo Stanton. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
Derek Jeter finally spoke about trading away Giancarlo Stanton. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

It’s certainly possible Stanton wanted to leave Miami even before Jeter’s group took over, but Jeter shouldn’t be able to use that as an excuse. It was on him and the new group to convince Stanton they could change things. They could have told him they planned to be active in free agency. They could have promised him they would surround him with better players. Based on all the reports, they never had any intention of doing that.

It all comes off as a pretty weak ploy by Jeter to try and blame Stanton for wanting out. Given that Miami fans have been through this countless times already, you would think they would be able to see right through Jeter’s ploy.

Still, that’s not going to stop Jeter from crying foul.

There’s probably some truth in that statement. The Marlins were reportedly operating at a deficit even before Jeter’s group took over. But Jeter’s statement brings up even bigger questions, like why a group that is struggling to raise funds to buy the Marlins was allowed to buy the Marlins in the first place?

The Marlins are already reportedly looking for more investors just months after buying the club. If the Marlins’ franchise is truly in as bad of shape as Jeter suggests, the league should have waited to allow a buyer with more solid finances to emerge before bending over backward to get Jeter back in the game.

Immediately trading away a franchise icon was always going to be rough, but Jeter and Co. have done themselves no favors thus far. Had he talked about specific rebuilding strategies, or emphasized Stanton’s contract, maybe things would have gone over better. Instead, he put the blame on one of the only things that made Marlins baseball watchable over the past few seasons.

After being strongly rumored since Friday night, the Yankees confirmed the Stanton deal Monday. At 10:56 a.m. ET, the Yankees officially announced via Twitter the team had acquired Stanton for Starlin Castro and two prospects.

The Marlins haven’t tweeted since Dec. 8.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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