The Silly Uproar Over Trading For A Manager

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Ozzie Guillen will not be returning to manage the White Sox in the final year of his contract in 2012 and there’s an agreement in place for the Marlins to exchange a player to hire Guillen—Chicago Tribune Story.

There’s an uproar over this because the Marlins are giving up a living, breathing player for a manager.

This is without knowing who the player is or anything about him.

It’s not without precedent for a team to trade a player for a manager. The Mariners traded the rights of Lou Piniella to the Devil Rays and got the Devil Rays’ best player at the time, Randy Winn; but the Devil Rays were desperate and stupid in trading an asset for a manager and then refusing to give that manager the players he needed to win.

In 1976, the Pirates traded catcher Manny Sanguillen to the Athletics for the rights to manager Chuck Tanner. Tanner won the World Series with the Pirates in 1979. Sanguillen was a pretty good hitter and very good defensive catcher who wound up being traded back to the Pirates and was on that championship team.

If the Marlins are trading someone with legitimate, near-future potential to get Guillen, then it’s a mistake; with or without this agreement, Guillen was not going to be managing the White Sox next season; if the White Sox fired Guillen, the Marlins would’ve been free to hire him without giving up anything other than the money to pay him and they’d save on the deal because the White Sox would still be paying a chunk of his 2012 salary.

I highly doubt that the Marlins are giving up a player they have in their near or distant plans. I speculated recently that the White Sox should ask for Chris Coghlan, with whom the Marlins are annoyed and who needs a change-of-scenery.

Who cares what they’re giving up if it’s not someone they have use for?

Isn’t it better to get this done now rather that go through the endless speculation—with the White Sox as to Guillen’s future; with the Marlins as to whom they’ll hire—and complete it immediately without rancor and controversy?

Guillen was not going to keep his mouth shut—he’s repeatedly asked for a contract extension that he knew he wasn’t going to get; the Marlins have had enough aggravation this season with the Leo Nunez identity mess; the Mike Cameron “firing”; the Logan Morrison Twitter-gate; and Wes Helms‘s union activities among other things.

Yes, there were other things.

They wanted Guillen.

They’re getting Guillen.

They probably won’t give up a big league player or a blue chip prospect.

The deal for compensation is done; Guillen wants to go to Florida.

It’s better to be decisive than to handle the possible and likely alternatives.

Everyone’s getting what they want, so it’s a sound business decision despite the silly responses before the fact.


4 thoughts on “The Silly Uproar Over Trading For A Manager

  1. If you have the right manager, that manager is better for the team than a lot of bench players or prospects, so if the Marlins think Guillen is some kind of valuable asset, trade a player for him. They seem like they are going to spend money on the team, so the trade will be justified if they make the commitment to giving Guillen the players he needs to win.

    But, like you pointed out, if you are going to trade an All-Star for a top notch manager and then not give the manager anything to work with, forget it.

    I’d say that in the long run, the Winn/Pinella trade was a loser for everyone. Lou Pinella wasted those years in Tampa, but he did get to spend time with his family, but he must have been miserable because he was getting killed all the time on the field. The Mariners lost because they haven’t really had stability in the organization since Sweet Lou left. And, Winn suffered because he was moved out of a situation where he was thriving into one where he still performed very well, but never matched the results he had in Tampa.

    1. The issues with the Marlins and White Sox weren’t going to be helped if this dragged longer than a few days past the end of the season. Guillen wanted his status assured and the White Sox weren’t going to give him an extension; the Marlins wanted Guillen. If this had gone into October, it would’ve gotten to the point where the White Sox would’ve had no choice but to fire Ozzie. It’s better this way. The Marlins gave up a couple of prospects to get the manager they wanted; the White Sox got something for a manager they no longer wanted to manage the team and definitely didn’t want to pay. I’m not getting hung up on how it was done; it’s done.

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