Rob Manfred Defends Derek Jeter, Marlins After Giancarlo Stanton, Other Trades

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2017

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred delivers remarks during a news conference at the annual MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Appearing on ESPN Radio's The Dan Le Batard Show on Wednesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred defended Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter and his recent fire sale.

As seen in the following video, courtesy of ESPN, Manfred made it clear he had no intention of micromanaging the Marlins' roster moves:

According to ESPN.com, Manfred didn't take issue with the decisions Marlins ownership made:

"We do not get involved in operating-level decisions in the ownership approval process. Clubs make those local decisions. We did not have player-specific plans from the Miami Marlins or any other team that has been in the ownership process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared by us or approved by us. ... Those are local decisions that really are not part of the approval process."

The Marlins have slashed payroll significantly this offseason, trading outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees, second baseman Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners and outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals for largely mid-tier prospects and salary relief.

Manfred told Le Batard he was satisfied with the ownership group and its plan despite the decimation of Miami's roster:

"This is really simple. We approved a very well-funded group that made numerous presentations to us about their commitment to provide winning baseball in South Florida over the long haul. That's generally what we look for in the approval process.

"We don't get into, are you going to trade 'Player X' or 'Player Y' at a particular point in time, nor do we ask them to make a commitment to people before they even got in and made an evaluation of their talent level, their ability to win with the people that they have. That's just not how the ownership process works."

While the Marlins have parted with much of their top-end offensive talent this offseason, they aren't stripping down a team that enjoyed much success in the first place.

Miami went just 77-85 last season, hasn't had a winning season since 2009 and hasn't reached the playoffs since winning the World Series in 2003.

As an example of a team that's turned things around after selling off pieces, Manfred mentioned the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros:

"The strategy that, apparently, the Marlins have adopted is one that is tried and true in baseball. I'm not saying it's without pain. As a matter of fact, I think the fans in Houston endured some bad seasons. But it was a process that ultimately produced a winner, and that process is really dominant in terms of the thinking in our game right now, in terms, particularly, of smaller markets' ability to win."

Stanton won the National League MVP award last season after hitting .281 with 59 home runs and 132 RBI, but the Marlins potentially saved $260 million by moving his contract.

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