Q&A with Dante Brinkley

Outfielder Dante Brinkley was named Friday, along with pitcher Gaby Hernandez, as the players-to-be-named in last week's trade with the Florida Marlins. Brinkley talked with Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch following the announcement: (Free Preview of Premium Content)

What are your reactions to the trade?

I just heard a few minutes ago [from minor league director Kevin Morgan]. I'm kind of mixed. I'm leaving the organization that gave me my first shot to make it to the big leagues, and now I'm moving on to a new opportunity with the Florida Marlins.

Did you think that this might be a possibility at some point?

It's always a possibility, but deep down inside, you never think that you personally are going [to be traded]. But you've just got to make the best out of the opportunity and deal with what's been given to you.

It seems kind of funny that – according to the rankings we've done – five out of the Top 30 players in the Mets system are now property of the Florida Marlins. What are your thoughts on what's happening?

I don't really know. I'm just going to take this opportunity that's in front of me, make the best of it and use it to my advantage.

Do you think this might be a better opportunity for you, with the Marlins going a lot younger?

I think it'll be different, and maybe overall it might even be better. Time will tell that.

How do you feel about the numbers you've compiled in the Mets' farm system?

I think over the years with the Mets, I did pretty well for myself. Now, I'm starting back at page one. I've got to go over to Florida and show and prove what I can do for them.

What do you think you bring to the table for the Marlins?

I think I bring to the table [that] I'm a good team guy, a good team player. I'm always preaching winning. I think I bring them an attitude and, besides my athletic ability, it's more of a winner on and off the field. I help the younger guys as far as the team aspect to the game, instead of just saying, 'Me, me, me.' I think I'm more of a team player.

What do you think you'll miss about the Mets?

Some of the guys I came up with, and some of the coaches I was with here and there. You're going to miss them because this was the first place I was for three or four years. Now I'm pretty much starting over from scratch.

As far as 2006, do you have your eyes set on Double-A now in the Marlins' system, or do you think there's a possibility you can move faster than that?

I don't know. I'd have to see. Of course, I want to start at Double-A – this whole offseason, I've been working out with that mindset. You never know; it might be Double-A, might be High-A, might be Triple-A.

What do you think will stand out in your mind when you think back on your Mets career?

It's the first. It's my first professional baseball experience, and this organization is world-class. They treated me pretty well over there. Some of the guys, and my friends like Lastings Milledge. You think, 'Wouldn't it be great to be in the big leagues next to one of my real good friends?' And now, that situation's not going to happen. Now, he might be across the dugout from me. That's the thing I'm going to miss.

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