The opening days of spring training are always good for some interesting quotes. After all, these players tend to have a lot on their minds after a long offseason. That’s especially true this year, with the slow free agent market and pace of play issues dominating the conversation inside and outside the game.
Of course, another big story has been the Miami Marlins complete tear down under the new ownership group led by Derek Jeter. In a series of major cost-cutting moves, the Marlins traded away four core pieces of the lineup in outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, along with second baseman Dee Gordon.
Those moves have led to some serious backlash against the Marlins ownership from fans, opposing players, and even baseball agent Scott Boras. However, at least current Marlins player, pitcher Dan Straily, is actually thrilled with the moves.
“Glad they’re gone,” Straily told the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer on Friday. “If they don’t want to be here, then good for them. They can continue their career elsewhere.”
Straily was obviously the most outspoken player at Marlins camp on Friday. At least when it came to addressing players like Stanton and Yelich, who had reportedly asked for trades once it became clear what the intentions of Jeter’s were.
But Straily didn’t stop at saying good riddance to a quartet of All-Star caliber players. He also fully endorsed and embraced the rebuild while expressing his desire to be one of its cornerstones.
“I agree with what happened, all the moves they made,” “And I really feel that the pieces they brought in … this might flip around a little quicker [than people expect]. I’m not saying today, but things are going to flip around a little quicker than a lot of people realize, because of some of the players they were able to acquire back in those trades.”
“You’ve heard both sides of it,” Straily said. “You’ve heard, ‘Sign me up for the rebuild,’ and you’ve heard, ‘I want out of this rebuild.’ It’s good to be no longer guessing, are they going to rebuild? We’re in it.”
On one hand, it does sound kinda crazy that a veteran pitcher would be willing to sacrifice at least two years, maybe more, to be part of a rebuild of this magnitude.
On the other hand, you almost have to respect it when he says to heck with it, I’m here, I’m part of this, I might as well be positive about it. And that’s not to say his attitude isn’t genuine. It sure seems like he’s on board, so good for him. Maybe he can be the clubhouse leader that the Marlins will undoubtedly need during this period.
Veteran shortstop Starlin Castro, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, has also recently changed his tune about the Marlins. After originally seeking a trade, he says he’s on board too. It’s a good sign that current Marlins are buying into the rebuild, but the Marlins have a long way to go to prove they’re committed to winning.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –