While Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the first player to win the Triple Crown since 1967, the team who dealt him to the Tigers after the 2007 season is still confident it will get the better return.
"Miguel Cabrera likely peaked this year," said Marlins general Michael Hill. "Whereas the guys we got in return have yet to do anything. You could say they're full of potential."
In December 2007, Cabrera was packaged with Dontrelle Willis to Detroit with Cameron Maybin, Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern, Eulogio De La Cruz, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo heading to Miami. While Cabrera matured into perhaps the best hitter of his generation, none of the five players the Marlins received are still even with the team. Maybin is a Padres outfielder, Badenhop pitches middle relief for the Rays, Miller and De La Cruz are Triple-A pitchers for other organizations and Trahern and Rabelo are out of baseball.
"First of all, let's not forget that Dontrelle Willis' career nosedived," said Hill. "So we totally won that part of the deal. And when we ended up dumping Maybin, Baden and Miller, we got players such as Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Jake Jefferies and Dustin Richardson. Now, you may say: 'Those guys you got in return suck major ass' or 'I never heard of any of them.' And that's fine. But maybe we'll somehow trade one of those guys for a future Hall of Famer."
Hill also stressed that he was not the Marlins' general manager when the trade went down, but said he still wants to hold out hope the deal will pay off for Miami.
"Look, I run a 93-loss team with no fans, a huge payroll, and a goddam moron for a manager," he said. "And we gave up a Triple Crown winner at age 24. If I didn't have an irrationally positive outlook, you'd find me hanging in my office."