"When we put this together and coming through Spring Training, there is no way you'd think we'd be this far back," manager Dan Jennings said. "It's just too talented a team. You can look at underperforming. You can look at injuries. There's a lot of things to point to."
Early Friday afternoon, the Marlins dealt right-hander Dan Haren to the Cubs for two prospects -- right-hander Ivan Pineyro and shortstop Elliot Soto.
"As the season turned south, it became apparent that we weren't going to be competing to be a playoff team," Michael Hill, president of baseball operations, said.
Haren, set to become a free agent next season, joins a playoff contender in Chicago.
The Marlins were active on Thursday as well, finalizing a trade that sent right-hander Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse to the Dodgers and a Competitive Balance pick (34th overall in 2016) to the Braves. From Los Angeles, Miami received right-handed pitching prospects Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo and Kevin Guzman. Brigham and Araujo are headed to Class A Advanced Jacksonville, and Guzman will join low Class A Greensboro.
The Marlins started their dealing on July 24, when reliever Steve Cishek was shipped to the Cardinals for Double-A reliever Kyle Barraclough.
"It's baseball. There's enough blame to go around," Jennings said. "There's still enough time left in this season to play with some pride and show some positive signs that lead us into 2016."
On a frantic Friday, the Marlins also fielded calls about a number of other players, including outfielder Marcell Ozuna and hard-throwing reliever Carter Capps, who drew interest from eight clubs.
"This time of year, when you're underperforming as a club and you're 18 games under .500, you get a lot of people who come for your inventory, for your players, because they're trying to add to their playoff push," Hill said.
The Marlins will now move forward with their core, much of which is expected to be back in 2016. In a couple of weeks, Giancarlo Stanton (broken left hand) is expected to return.
In the meantime the organization will use these final two months to evaluate what they have.
"Is there one thing to blame? No," Jennings said. "But at the same time, it is disappointing because, from a pure talent standpoint, I don't think this team performed to its level or capabilities, for many reasons.
"It is the right core. The remainder of this year, this core is going to get that opportunity to go prove itself. But yes, we're very encouraged and feel very confident that is the right core to move this organization and this ballclub to the next level."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.