Upgrading the bullpen was a priority, and the Marlins obtained the 38-year-old Rhodes from the Mariners for pitching prospect Gaby Hernandez.
Florida had coveted Manny Ramirez, and team officials worked the phones until 2 a.m. ET on Thursday and resumed negotiations at 9 a.m.
Yet, the proposed three-way trade that would have had Ramirez coming to Florida, Jeremy Hermida heading to Pittsburgh and Jason Bay going to Boston fizzled early Thursday afternoon.
Before Thursday's deadline, Ramirez went to the Dodgers as part of a three-way trade that included Bay ending up with the Red Sox.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest would not give specifics or even confirm the Ramirez scenario.
"We had some things that we were looking at, that we were trying to improve, mainly with the 'pen, and we did that with Rhodes," Beinfest said. "We were trying to add catching depth, and we banged on I think every door. If we didn't, it's our fault.
"As far as any other opportunities, yes, there were other opportunities that we wanted to explore because we like to be active. With the minutes ticking, we wanted to take advantage of it."
So why weren't the Marlins able to reach a deal?
"Why some of those things didn't come to fruition could be a number of factors," Beinfest said, without mentioning specifics. "It could be the money. The players. To somebody else had different goals than we did."
Another reason is so many teams feel they are still in it. Last year, for instance, the Rockies were far off the pace in July, yet they went on a remarkable roll and reached the World Series.
"There were a lot teams that believe that could pull a Rockies deal from a year ago," Beinfest said.
As controversial as Ramirez is, Beinfest says the organization was mindful of keeping harmony in the clubhouse.
"[You don't want] to mess with it to the point where we thought it could upset whatever is going on here that helps this team win," Beinfest said. "Maybe it's the manager on the field. Maybe it's the rah-rah together as a group. They are tight, and they know what works. Call it togetherness. Call it chemistry. Call it whatever you like, we were mindful of that.
"The disappointment is these guys deserve to be helped as much as possible, and we would have liked to have done a little more. It's not like we're despondent and we feel terrible. In the front office, we wanted to help them as much as possible. We just would have liked to have helped them a little more."
The trade rumors clearly created rumblings within the clubhouse for a couple of days. Hermida, 24, never dealt with being part of trade rumors. A first-round pick in 2002, the left-handed-hitting outfielder spent two days facing reporters and the prospect of being dealt.
"It's completely out of my hands," Hermida said. "I played the game last night. I woke up today, and pretty much everything was out of my control. If it went through, it went through. If it didn't, I'm definitely ecstatic to be here. I love these guys, and I'm definitely happy to be here."
Dan Uggla actually woke Hermida up with a phone call on Thursday to see if the outfielder was being traded. And once the Trade Deadline passed, Cody Ross gave Hermida a hug.
"It's part of the game, and part of the business," Hermida said. "It was my first time going through it, and it definitely is a little uneasy to go through it. It is what it is. It's part of the business. It's a learning experience."
First baseman Mike Jacobs also felt he could be moved. The 27-year-old initially thought he could be sent to the Giants for catcher Bengie Molina. But early Thursday morning, he heard that if he was indeed dealt, it wouldn't have been to San Francisco.
"There have been rumors the last 24 hours," Jacobs said. "You show up ready to play until you get tapped on the shoulder and told you are going somewhere else."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.