08/07/12 7:50 PM ET
Samson discusses 'retooling,' Loria's thoughts
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Falling short of expectations has upset Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who is at Citi Field for the three-game series against the Mets, along with team president David Samson.
"Yeah, he's angry," Samson told MLB.com. "That shouldn't be surprising. We had higher expectations that we thought were merited based on the team that we put together. To be angry and disappointed is appropriate."
Samson clarified there are no regrets about the spending spree the Marlins had in the offseason, when they signed free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell for a total of $191 million.
"There is no regret," Samson said. "We don't regret what we did. We'd do it again. What we're angry and disappointed about is it didn't work. So we don't regret doing it."
After the season, the entire organization -- Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, general manager Michael Hill, manager Ozzie Guillen and his staff -- will be evaluated. Changes at all levels certainly could occur.
"Jeffrey is very involved in the team," Samson said. "On the other hand, Jeffrey makes sure his people do their jobs. So me, Larry and Mike do our jobs. It's hard to argue that we did it well.
"I'm judged on more things than Larry and Mike. I'm judged, not just on the baseball side, but I'm judged on the overall picture of the team."
Samson noted that fans have expressed their concerns, but many understand why the club recently traded Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez, Gaby Sanchez and Edward Mujica.
"Fans, they want to win," Samson said. "And they deserve to win. They're very happy with the ballpark. They want a winning team in the ballpark, which we knew. The first day we said the honeymoon was going to be five innings. And that's what it was.
"The reaction I've gotten from fans is they understand that you're not going to win every year. The problem is, we needed to win this year and we didn't. So we have to retool. It's not that we didn't win because of a dropped fly ball. It's not that we didn't win because of a missed call. It's not that we didn't win because we didn't get a crucial hit with two outs. We didn't win because of an overall, entire team lack of performance, as a unit. When that happens, you have to relook at everything, and that's what we're doing."
The Marlins call the trades a "retooling" of the roster.
Anibal Sanchez was going to be eligible for free agency after the season. So with the team not improving in the standings, he was packaged along with Infante and sent to the Tigers for prospects, including pitcher Jacob Turner and catcher Rob Brantly.
"What we did is, we looked at impending free agents," Samson said. "We looked at other teams' needs, and we took phone calls from other teams. The chance to get a pitcher like Jacob Turner, you had to give to get. It made sense for us to. We got a potential frontline catcher and a top-of-the-rotation starter. That's a trade that you make any day.
"Now, the question would be, if we were 20 games over, and in first place, would that trade have been made? Well, of course not. The timing wouldn't be right. But in the offseason, if you're offered a trade like that, that's a baseball trade you look at."
Ramirez was dealt to the Dodgers for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who is in the Marlins' rotation and will make his third start for Miami on Wednesday night.
"The Hanley trade was our decision that we were not winning with Hanley," Samson said. "We felt we needed to start to retool the team in order to start to win.
"Listen, Hanley was with us for seven years. Anibal was with us for seven years. It's not as though we're the defending world champions and we've been to the playoffs for four years. We have not made the playoffs once in any of those years. And that's what we always expect to do and want to do."
Rather than stand pat with the roster the team opened with, the club decided to move in another direction. Miami expects to build around Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton.
"Changing the personnel makes sense to us," Samson said. "And our fans know that. Why would our fans say, 'Keep the personnel together,' when we haven't won before? We want to win.
"The people who support our team, from sponsors to fans, are appreciative that we take ownership of what we did wrong. And we're trying to change it."