Offseason Outlook: Miami Marlins

Prepare for the most exciting Marlins offseason in recent memory.  With new manager Ozzie Guillen's arrival and the opening of the team's new ballpark, ownership wants to make 2012 unforgettable.

Guaranteed Contracts

Arbitration Eligible Players (estimated salaries)

Free Agents

To compete in the NL East next year, the Marlins will need improved starting pitching, offense, and health.  Clearly, this team is looking for a fresh start in 2012 as they've been rebranded the Miami Marlins, and quote machine Guillen will man the helm.  Most importantly, the team's payroll will be the largest in franchise history.

The six players under guaranteed contracts account for $49.75MM in salary, which is only $8MM shy of 2011's Opening Day payroll.  Estimating the price of the club's ten-player arbitration class is a difficult exercise.  I think we can pencil in Sanchez, Bonifacio, Mujica, and Badenhop for about $10.5MM, but that leaves the remaining six as candidates for non-tender or trade.  Oviedo, formerly known as closer Leo Nunez prior to the revelation of his commitment of identity fraud, was already the highest-paid reliever in Marlins history in 2011.  He could receive a $2MM+ raise and his 2012 team must request a visa for him to play next year, which could seal the fate of Oviedo, who was already on the bubble as a non-tender candidate.  If Oviedo is not retained, the remaining arbitration eligibles won't be too costly.

Subtracting Oviedo and Vazquez and otherwise keeping the Marlins the same will already result in over $65MM in commitments, a franchise payroll record.  Recently, a person close to the Marlins' front office told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post the 2012 payroll could approach $100MM, as owner Jeffrey Loria aims to make 2012 unforgettable.  If Loria follows through, the result would be an additional $35MM in payroll flexibility, which could be further expanded if the team trades Nolasco.  However, with Vazquez and his 192 2/3 innings of 3.69 ERA ball potentially headed for retirement and ace Josh Johnson limited to 60 1/3 innings in 2011 due to a shoulder injury, a Nolasco trade could add uncertainty to a situation already bursting with it.

I expect president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest to actively seek starting pitching, especially if he's bearish about the futures of Nolasco and Volstad.  Several interesting rotation scenarios have been tossed around, from Guillen bringing in old Chicago friends Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins winning the bidding on C.J. Wilson.  The bullpen should have many holdovers, but new blood is likely if Oviedo is non-tendered. 

Questions in the Marlins' offense also abound, as center field and third base are unsettled.  The team's top prospect  Matt Dominguez wouldn't represent a "win-now" choice at the hot corner, but Aramis Ramirez, the one desirable free agent third baseman, could block Dominguez for three years.  Coco Crisp is probably the only viable free agent option for center field, but the trade market may feature B.J. Upton and Denard Span.  Internally, Bryan Petersen could hold equal appeal.

Another potential route for the Marlins would be signing a big-name free agent and trading Gaby Sanchez or Logan Morrison for pitching.  Both players had respectable 2011 seasons, showing decent pop and on-base ability.  Sanchez may still be on notice because the free agent market offers a pair of first-base superstars in Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder.  With Morrison, there's speculation that the outspoken left fielder's questionable August demotion could be a precursor to a trade.  I think the Marlins have too many offensive question marks to sell low on LoMo.

The Marlins may achieve temporary media relevance with Guillen and a couple of pricey free agents, as they look to go all-in for the opening of their new stadium.  Ultimately, though, the biggest additions to the 2012 club may be healthy seasons from Ramirez and Johnson.


46 Responses to Offseason Outlook: Miami Marlins Leave a Reply

  1. bpot92 4 years ago

    would dominguez be available for trade if they signed ARam?.

  2. haha juan carlos oviedo aka leo nunez

  3. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Brett Cecil + Luis Perez = Logan Morrison

    ( I realize its an underpay on the Jays part, but c’mon, its the Marlins)

  4. adammyst 4 years ago

    Logan Morrison would ideally be at 1B eventually, so signing a guy like Pujols or Fielder to fill that position long-term would hurt him, as well.  And I don’t expect Morrison to ever be a very good defensive LF’er.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

       were not actually convinced that in any way shape or form that the marlins will make a formidable offer on either Pujols or fielder do we??

      I’m thinking its going to along the lines of

      5 years, 20 million per… c’mon we have nice weather and a new ball park!

  5. How about a Gaby Sanchez for Andre Ethier package trade that way the fish can move LoMo down to first base, his original position, and they can include Chris Volstad and RF prospect Marcell Ozuna to the Dodgers as well. The Marlins won’t need Ozuna because he is blocked by Mike Stanton and it’s a good time to trade him. I also like young backup infielder Justin Sellers from LA and he is blocked by the emergence of Dee Gordon so the Marlins may look to use him in a backup role in case Hanley isn’t ready to start the season on time

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      I guess Sanchez is better than Loney, but given the latter’s finish and slightly superior glove, the upgrade isn’t really worth Ethier unless the Dodgers are really needing to slash payroll.

      • I think given their economic situation the Dodgers must trade him. They have to find a way to keep Kershaw and/or Kemp long term so parting ways with Ethier is one way. They had controversy over his knee injury so maybe there is a rift between him and management.

        • Shu13 4 years ago

          Ethier hasn’t liked being in LAD for a while….there has been talk of him not resigning w/ them for a few years….

    • RP0973 4 years ago

      I like that move very very much you should be the new GM

  6. Volstad will be a cheaper replacement for Jon Garland in the No. 4 spot in their rotation and Gaby will be James Loney’s replacement, who will be non-tendered. The Marlins can use Ethier in LF and bat him 3rd or 4th while paying nearly $11M in his last year of arbitration. Hopefully they can bring back a guy like Cody Ross in a platoon role with Petersen for CF.

  7. Thank you. I hope it happens as well. And Ozuna would really be the hidden gem in this deal because he has raw potential and five tool talent. Look up his minor league stats and you will notice his trend, lots of k’s but great power and room for growth once he cuts down his swing.

  8. I could see Nolasco as a Cub next year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he was included in some type of deal for Zambrano.

    • touchmymonkey 4 years ago

      Maybe if the cubs added Byrd with Zambrano they would eat less of Zambranos contract – Byrd will be a nice addtion for Marlins

    • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

      my name is John. does that count? give me a dollar

    • WrigleyTerror37 4 years ago

      now thats what ive been saying for weeks now!

  9. Joe 4 years ago

    The Reds would give you Volquez for some skittles and a gift card to cracker barrel.

  10. dc21892 4 years ago

    Leo Nunez sounds better than Juan Carlos Oveido. Just saying.

  11. mondaymorninggm 4 years ago

    why dont the marlins move hanley to 2nd and jump in on rollins or reyes. hanley has to move and reyes would be a huge pr move. i like the pagan move too. he’s scrappy and better than he gets credit for. then u have reyes and pagan in front of ramirez, stanton, sanchez, and morrison. seems like they still need some power in there, any ideas???

    • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

      Hanley would likely shift to 3B before he ever goes to 2B, just nitpicking

  12. mgsports 4 years ago

    The Mets have Fernando Martinez to play CF.
    Juan Pierre? Carlos Quinton? Andrew Torres?

  13. wade davis + 3m logan morrison

  14. RP0973 4 years ago

    Miami Marlins Nedds in My opinion. a good outfielder with a good bat not only defense,like Adan Jones,Matt Kemp,the pirates cf, and then you cut keep gaby sanchez because his salary if marlins FO goes for Pujols or Fielder Then, We need To Trade Gaby Wich is a Better idea Than trade LOMO hi is a better player plays always at150% effort and is a lefty that we need with some pop, two good starter Like CJ Wilson Or Burhle Cut olso take a chance maibe with Dontrel Willis but 2 ofthen at lease to compete with the Philis and if we can Get Aramis Ramirez will be very good that way you alows 2 more years dominguez in the minor hi is not ready with his bat.but remenber we need a goooood bat out of the outfield or first base but we need someone to go with hanley and stanton, an is not Gaby hi is just a unspenses choice but not a real goodone

    • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

      so trade for Matt Kemp, then sign Pujols, then sign CJ Wilson and Buerhle, and THEN sign Aramis. i like it.

      Marlins are no-doubt 2012 WS champs

      • Someone up late on MLB2K11 last night playing GM mode?

        • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

          i will forgive you, considering you likely couldn’t read the post i was responding to. but look up.

        • John DiRienzo 4 years ago

          i will forgive you, considering you likely couldn’t read the post i was responding to. but look up.

  15. RP0973 4 years ago

    Maimi Marlins Needs, In My opinion A good bat cut come from the outfield someone like Adan Jones,Matt Kemp, (The Pirate Cf) or some of that caliber them you can keep Gaby Sanchez because fo his salary but that choice is not likley to happen so real option because at lease will be available are Pujols And Fielder Don’t if they are ready to spend that much, if that happen them we can trade Gaby Sanchez and Keep LOMO wich is better player than gaby is plus a lefty with some pop that we need , also couple of lefty starter Like CJ wilson,Burhle or Even Take A chance on Willis and if they can also get Aramis Ramirez that move allows domingues to stay at lease two more year in the aaa league hi is not ready not with his bat rightnow

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Doesn’t get much better than Adan Jones, although (Pirates CF) is one of the best.  

    • jwsox 4 years ago

      Ha there are still so many spelling and grammar mistakes in the second post.

      • chico65 4 years ago

        At first I thought he was joking but the fact that he posted it twice and attempted to clarify some points sadly leads me to believe that he wasn’t.  Idiocracy just keeps ringing more and more true, doesn’t it?

  16. Dylan Ramirez 4 years ago

    I find it strange that CF is listed as a need. Bonifacio should be the starting CF and is probably better than anything else they could get out there.

    What about Coghlan what are they going to do with him? I wouldn’t mind if the Padres could make a trade for him maybe giving up Clayton Richards.

  17. I like your idea of Richards for Coghlan because the Marlins need a lefty in their rotation so it’s an alternative if they can’t sign a big name. Bonifacio needs to be playing the infield where he originally came up playing. I for one think he should be playing his original second base position and I wasn’t in favor of them re signing Infante, but oh well….

  18. dorsey56 4 years ago

    Will they dismantle 2012 team if they don’t make playoffs like the embarassment of getting rid of the 1997 or 2003 winning teams?

  19. vtadave 4 years ago

    Hopefully for the Marlins sake, they set their sights a bit higher.

  20. jwsox 4 years ago

    but you are talking, admittedly, about a STAR for a few good players…Mayve Gabbey+volstad+a minor leaguer or two, and im talking high level type guys. Because for all the crazyness that is the dodgers they are about to slash payrol simply by non-tenders thus opening enough money to resign either if he wants to stay there…Gabbey+volstad and one really nice pitching prospect should get the deal done and would be good for both teams.

  21. chico65 4 years ago

    I realize the Miami Marlins want to make a big splash what with the opening of their new stadium and all, but does anyone really think they’re going to shell out the kind money it’s going to take to sign Fielder or Pujols?

  22.  Do we really need to entertain this question? Of course not.

  23. We’re calling Andre Ethier a star now?  What?

  24. stl_cards16 4 years ago

    He had a 30+ game hit streak!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. John DiRienzo 4 years ago

    just had to respond to your comment to clarify your sarcasm, before half of the MLBTR board freaks out at you

  26. slider32 4 years ago

    How about Either for Morrison!

  27. slider32 4 years ago

    How about Either for Morrison!

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