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Trade Retrospective: Marlins move Cameron Maybin to Padres, Dan Uggla to Braves

Five offseasons ago, the Marlins moved a pair of young bats: Cameron Maybin to the Padres, and Dan Uggla to the Braves.

Dan Uggla would later sign a four year extension with the Braves.
Dan Uggla would later sign a four year extension with the Braves.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Back during the 2011 offseason, the Miami Marlins moved a pair of notable position players in separate trades. First, they traded former top prospect centerfielder (and key return for Miguel CabreraCameron Maybin to the Padres for two relievers. Later, they moved power-hitting second baseman Dan Uggla to the Braves for Omar Infante and Mike Dunn.

As with each of these trade retrospectives, a "winner" is merely the team who has accrued the most surplus value at this snapshot in time, five seasons after the trade. Only the initial decision is being evaluated here, and later decisions that retroactively effect the perception of these trades are irrelevant.

In this case, that limitation would bar Omar Infante's two-year extension from the following September, and Cameron Maybin inclusion in the trade for Craig Kimbrel. However, for reasons detailed in the below analysis, Dan Uggla's five year extension is included in the Braves' totals.

As is also a recurring feature of these retrospectives, I'm attempting some unscientific future win depreciation, as detailed in the chart below.

Year 2011 Value 2011 WAR
2011 100% 1.00
2012 75% 1.33
2013 55% 1.82
2014 40% 2.50
2015 30% 3.33

Teams considered "buyers" in most big trades often sacrifice additional future wins for present day wins. Basically every team operates in this way, so wins today seem to be more highly valued than wins at a later date. Without an objective way to measure this effect, this is just attempt to account for as many factors as possible when evaluating a transaction.

The Deals

At the time of this trade, Cameron Maybin had a little bit over a season of Major League service time. He was the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft by the Detroit Tigers, and developed into one of the league's elite prospects. He appeared on the Baseball America Top 100 prospect list for four straight seasons (2006-2009), and was ranked in the Top 10 for all but the first of those.

He was considered a five-tool player and performed up the Minor League ladder, garnering progressively loftier scouting reports along the way. However, he didn't produce offensively during his early Major League career, earning only an 82 OPS+ in 610 plate appearances before the trade. The defense and baserunning were as advertised, and he had produced a total of 2.0 fWAR in roughly one season's worth of appearances. He was seen as a "change of scenery" candidate, and had five seasons of team control remaining.

Dan Uggla was a late-blooming 11th round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks who emerged as one of baseball's most consistent power hitting second baseman with the Marlins, at age 26 in 2006. He was durable, averaging 155 games and 31 home runs per season from 2006-2010, and during that time was the most valuable second baseman in the Majors not named Chase Utley. He would earn $9.15 million in 2011 season, the first season of the extension signed after this deal.

In the first trade, the Marlins received Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica from San Diego for Maybin. Even in the context of the time, the return seems fairly light for a relatively recent elite prospect who was still so young, with so much team control remaining.

Webb was a young, hard throwing reliever with a starter's build and set-up man upside. He never placed in top 100 lists, but was coming off of a good 2010 season, with a 73 FIP- in 59 innings. He was entering his age 25 season with five years of team control remaining.

Mujica was entering his age 27 season, having spent parts of the five prior seasons with the Indians and Padres. He had just completed a 2010 campaign with the best walk and strikeout rates of his career (2.2 percent and 26.9 percent, respectively), but a bizarrely high home run rate for Petco Park. As a result, his 67 xFIP- implied he might have been a breakout relief candidate. He signed an $800,000 contract in his first year of arbitration, and had three seasons of team control remaining.

The Marlins received utility infielder Omar Infante and left-handed reliever Mike Dunn for Uggla, which was also considered a lighter package than expected at the time.

Dunn rose in the Yankees system before being traded to the Braves with Melky Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez. He performed well over a short sample in the Atlanta bullpen, and had all six seasons of team control remaining.

Omar Infante was a Baseball America Top 100 Prospect in 2002, and emerged as a utility player for the Tigers from 2002-2007. He was then traded to the Cubs and then Braves in the same off-season, and became a roughly league average hitter (105 OPS+) over his three seasons in Atlanta. He had one season of team control remaining before free agency.

The Ripples

Marlins Transaction With To/By/With For
Ryan Webb Non-Tendered
Edward Mujica Traded Cardinals Zack Cox
Zack Cox MiLB Rule 5 Pick Nationals

After the Maybin trade, Ryan Webb developed into the set-up man that many thought he would become, but was non-tendered by the cash-conscious Marlins after the 2013 season. He would spend the next two seasons with the Orioles and Indians.

Mujica would be traded to the Cardinals for former first-round pick Zack Cox at the 2012 trade deadline. He would become St. Louis' closer and join the team on their 2013 World Series run. Cox was recently picked in the Minor League portion of the 2016 Rule 5 Draft by the Washington Nationals.

Marlins Transaction With To/By/With For
Omar Infante Traded Anibal Sanchez Tigers Rob Brantly
Brian Flynn
Jacob Turner
Rob Brantly Claimed White Sox
Brian Flynn Traded Reid Redman Royals Aaron Crow
Jacob Turner Traded Cubs Jose Arias
Tyler Bremer
Aaron Crow Free Agency

Just before the 2012 trade deadline, the Marlins would send Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers in the first of a series of moves that would generate no attention or controversy of any kind.

In return, they received prospects Rob Brantly, Bryan Flynn, and Jacob Turner - three players who would have Major League careers, but fail to live up to their prospect potential. Brantly, a catcher, was claimed by the Chicago White Sox before the 2015 season. Flynn was traded to the Royals with Reid Redman for Aaron Crow, but would suffer a lat injury and miss much of 2015.

Jacob Turner was a Top 100 prospect with the highest pedigree of the bunch, but has been very inconsistent at the highest level. He would be traded to the Cubs for Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer, but would also miss 2015 with elbow injuries. He is still only entering his age 25 season.

Padres Transaction With To/By/With For
Cameron Maybin Traded Jordan Paroubeck Braves Craig Kimbrel
Carlos Quentin Melvin Upton
Matt Wisler
Comp Round A Pick
Craig Kimbrel Traded
Red Sox Logan Allen

Carlos Asuaje

, Javier Guerra

Manuel Margot

Cameron Maybin would remain a Padre until the 2015 offseason, at which time he was a piece of a blockbuster trade to the Braves for Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton. After the Padres' 2015 disappointment, Kimbrel was traded again, this time for an even larger return to the Red Sox. They received utility prospect Carlos Asuaje, 2015 draft pick Logan Allen, and Top 100 prospects Javier Guerra and Manuel Margot. All four prospects, and Upton, currently remain with San Diego.

Braves Transaction With To/By/With For
Dan Uggla Released

Everyone's pretty aware of how the Dan Uggla saga ended in Atlanta. He signed a five-year extension with the team a month after the trade, despite having previously rejected four-year offers from the Marlins. It began well with 2.3 fWAR and 3.4 fWAR campaigns in 2011-2012, but then went south after his strikeout rate continued to rise. The team released Uggla in July 2014, while absorbing the remaining $18.2 million owed to him over the next 18 months.

The Results

Remaining Control fWAR Salary (M) FA Value (M) Surplus Value (M) Surplus Value - Adj (M)
Cameron Maybin 0 7.0 $7.00 $15.93 $51.80 $35.87
--
Edward Mujica 0 1.1 $1.10 $5.63 $8.90 $3.28
Ryan Webb 0 2.0 $2.00 $6.31 $14.60 $8.29
--
Marlins Total 0 3.1 $3.10 $11.94 $23.50 $11.57
Padres Total 0 7.0 $7.00 $15.93 $51.80 $35.87

I was a little surprised to see that the Padres have gotten a lot out of Cameron Maybin since the trade. Maybin produced a strong 4.3 fWAR in 2011, and followed it up with 2.2 fWAR in 2012. He had weak seasons in 2013-2014, but rebounded last season. Owed in part to his inexpensive salary, he became a moderate bargain.

Mujica and Webb each became consistently decent relievers. While Mujica was a closer for a time, his stuff and peripherals meant he wasn't as highly regarded by FIP-based measures as ERA, and his dominance was fairly short lived. In total, the Padres very clearly came out on top in this trade.

Remaining Control fWAR Salary (M) FA Value (M) Surplus Value (M) Surplus Value - Adj (M)
Dan Uggla 0 5.3 $61.15 $36.80 $(24.35) $(1.43)
--
Omar Infante 0 2.3 $2.50 $17.10 $14.60 $14.60
Mike Dunn 1 1.7 $5.13 $12.60 $7.47 $3.10
--
Marlins Total 1 4 $7.63 $29.70 $22.07 $17.70
Braves Total 0 5.3 $61.15 $36.80 $(24.35) $(1.43)

Dan Uggla signed his extension with the Braves less than a month after his trade was formally announced - given previous, dead-end extension talk with Marlins, it seems reasonable to believe that the Braves acquired him with the expectation of extending him. As a result, the results of that extension are included in the analysis.

Uggla was actually quite good in his first two seasons with the Braves, explaining why his adjusted surplus value is so much closer to even than the raw count. However, Omar Infante was roughly as good in 2011, Mike Dunn has contributed out of the Miami bullpen each season since.

Even if Dan Uggla's four free agent seasons included in the extension were excluded from this analysis, the judgement would be the same. The Marlins didn't blow away the Braves, but at least in this case, they did get the best of this trade.

. . .

Spencer Bingol is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @SpencerBingol.