So here's the second in a 2-part post about the Marlins and how did NOT buy the World Series in 1997. In the first post I looked at the position players and here are the pitchers.
SP: Kevin Brown. Signed as a free agent before 1996 season.The thing that jumps out at you is that of the 6 starters, 3 were free agent signings. But 2 of them were signed the year BEFORE the Marlins won it all. Nobody complained that the Marlins bought their 3rd place finish (16 games behind division winner Atlanta) in 1996. For 1997 the Marlins signed free agent pitcher and hometown hero Alex Fernandez. But I don't have to remind you that the MVP of the 1997 World Series was Livan Hernandez, the rookie pitcher.
SP: Alex Fernandez. Signed as a free agent before 1997 season.
SP: Al Leiter. Signed as a free agent before 1996 season.
SP: Livan Hernandez. Broke into Majors with Marlins in 1997.
SP: Pat Rapp. Was with the Marlins since the 1993 season.
SP: Tony Saunders. Broke into Majors with Marlins in 1997
RP: Antonio Alfonseca. Broke into Majors with Marlins in 1997
RP: Dennis Cook. Signed as a free agent before 1997 season.
RP: Rick Helling. Received in a trade during 1996 seasons.
RP: Mark Hutton. Received in a trade during 1997 season.
RP: Felix Heredia. Broke into Majors as with the Marlins in 1996
RP: Rob Nen. Acquired in a trade from Texas in 1993.
RP: Kirt Ojala. Broke into Majors with the Marlins in 1997.
RP: Jay Powell. Broke into Majors with the Marlins in 1995.
RP: Rob Stanifer. Broke into Majors with Marlins in 1997.
Also instrumental in winning a lot of those games was closer Rob Nen who had already been a Marlin for 4 years, he had been traded for during the inaugural year. So which free agent relief pitcher did the Marlins "rent" for their championship run? Dennis Cook, the 35 year old journeyman middle reliever, that's who.
Anybody that says the Marlins "bought" the World Series is just relying on the accounts of traditionalists, probably Cub and Red Sox fans that had been battling futility for decades at the time. An in depth look at it shows that Dave Dombrowski did a fine job in growing talent from within the organization, trading for valuable pieces and topping it off with a couple of free agents. It's a shame that that team didn't get a chance to defend its crown. They didn't "buy" that team but they certainly sold it.