MIAMI, Fla. - Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter addressed fans at a town hall Tuesday, saying the franchise has a clear strategy with its recent high-profile trades.
The Marlins have faced intense criticism from fans after trading top players such National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton and slugger Marcell Ozuna.
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In an interview with ESPN, agent Scott Boras compared the Marlins to a "pawn shop." Others have called the trades a “fire sale.”
Jeter acknowledged the past few weeks have been tough for fans. But he said the team has a clear direction and it’s not to tear down then build up and tear down again.
“We are going to put a competitive team on the field,” Jeter said.
He pushed back against charges that the Marlins can't afford a good team. He said the trades were needed because the organization had been losing a significant amount of money while the team still struggled on the field.
Jeter pointed out that the Marlins haven't had a winning record since 2009 and haven't made the playoffs in 14 years.
He also defended the quality of the trades, saying the Marlins gained 10 new prospects. He said the new owners are not going to do things the way the old ownership group did.
"Losing and failure is not an option," Jeter said.
During the town hall, Jeter took questions from fans. One woman started crying when talking about the trades of Stanton and Ichiro Suzuki.
Jeter said he admired her passion and said he wants to turn around the team as soon as possible for her and all fans.
Laurence Leavy, better known as "Marlins Man," got the biggest laughs of the night when he asked Jeter if he could throw out the first pitch.
“I’ll let you throw out the first pitch with a 10-year plan,” Jeter said, referring to season tickets. “I’m sure we’ll talk later.”
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