We’re bringing back our “Three Needs” series, in which we take a look at the chief issues to be addressed for clubs that have fallen out of contention. We’ve already focused on the Mariners, Tigers, and White Sox. Now we’re on to the lowly Marlins, the National League’s worst team …
1. Give Away Fewer Corner OF/IF Plate Appearances
The Marlins are not good, and that’s not surprising. There wasn’t a path to being good in 2019 and there isn’t a path to being good in 2020, either. But that doesn’t mean the team ought to be plugging in replacement-level, low-ceiling players — especially in areas of the field where there’s opportunity.
There’s value in having some veteran clubhouse members and perhaps also in rewarding some hustling, marginal major leaguers. But the Marlins need to be maxing out their opportunities to dig up interesting talent and develop their own players. And in 2019, they dedicated a few too many outfield and corner infield plate appearances to less-than-promising players.
The Marlins did give chances to potentially interesting late-bloomers Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez with generally middling results. But it’d be nice to see the organization take chances on more and younger players with so many possibilities flying around the waiver wire. No doubt there are some underappreciated bats out there just waiting for an opportunity. In 2019, the Fish have handed over a thousand total plate appearances at corner positions to Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, Martin Prado, Isaac Galloway, and Peter O’Brien.
2. Chase Upside With Extensions
We know the Marlins are willing to do multi-year deals with existing players since they just inked one with shortstop Miguel Rojas. But that was more about locking in a solid, internally valued veteran for a brief stretch than it was the pursuit of a value-laden contract with a young talent.
Not every rebuilding team is in a position to consider lengthy pacts with young players. The Marlins are. They’ve surely seen enough good things from Brian Anderson to pursue a deal. There’s a strong argument for talking with Jorge Alfaro, who’s also entering his final winter before arbitration. On the pitching side, Caleb Smith and Sandy Alcantara are interesting targets.
It might seem premature to begin committing future payroll space when the Marlins still don’t know when they’ll be able to compete again. But this isn’t just (or even primarily) about locking in pieces for this organization. It’s about attempting to make good assets even better ones — even if that entails some risk — whether for a future Miami contender or for trade bait.
3. Load Up The Bullpen With Interesting Arms
It took some doin’, but the Marlins managed to finish the season with the worst bullpen in the NL East — and the rest of baseball as well, if that needed to be specified — by measure of fWAR. And that’s including Nick Anderson and Sergio Romo, who logged 1.5 fWAR before being traded away. Absent those two hurlers, this was a remarkable -3.7 fWAR unit.
That’s not the be-all, end-all measure of relief work. Rebuilding teams don’t really need reliable bullpens. But it’s awfully dispiriting to a team (let alone a fanbase) to watch winnable games melt away. And, more importantly, it points to an opportunity.
The Marlins know the drill here. They already cashed in on the aforementioned Anderson, who was acquired for a song. And they just picked up lefty Josh Smith on a similar premise. There ought to be more where that came from. In addition to waiver targets, the Marlins can consider bounceback veterans with some degree of upside along with minor-league free agents.
Miguel Castro? I don’t think Castro=Rojas
Fixed the typo. Thanks.
Better pitching. Better hitting. Better defence.
lol worst joke ever
I think you mean Miguel Rojas.
Middling results? Cooper has done pretty good. Hes no voit… oh wait… hes really close. Come on jeff… just because he doesnt wear a yankee uniform, doesnt mean you have to hate on him. Hes a former yankee, that’s gotta be worth something.
He’s hitting nearly 20% worse than Voit. Can we please stop the crusade? Coopers xWOBA .336 Voit .370
Cooper might be slightly better than middling but it’s not much for a corner man. I don’t know why you choose to spend your day fighting a pointless battle. Maybe dish out some cash and start reading the Athletic? Seems like an alternative you may want to try.
Inferiority complex much?
My predominant childhood baseball memory is watching Jeffrey Maier steal the ALCS from the Orioles. I am not a Yankees fan.
Cooper and Ramirez are collectively hitting about average, the former on the high side and the latter on the low. So, combined, middling. Neither has stood out over a reasonably large sample as a difference-making bat. That’s all.
Coopers numbers would look much better if he were wearing yankee stripes though, right?
You would never say Voit and Wade’s numbers were middling.
I don’t know why you guys entertain this troll.
Ramirez was amazing for the first month and half or so he was up, until the league obviously started to figure him out after a while. He was awful in July, but picked it up again a bit in mid August. He was also a lot better than I thought he would be defensively, although that’s not saying much b/c I didnt consider him to have a defensive position previously. He probably deserves more looks on this team, but I wouldnt say he should outright keep his spot, if there is anyone with more upside available
Cooper just has to stay healthy. He never really gets consistent enough stretches of health. He was pretty strong at the plate until he got hurt again for a few days in July, and then he started terribly after the AS break. He needs to avoid these DL stints and these issues that cost him several days at a time, maybe some sort of protection at the plate b/c a lot of his issues are from getting hit by pitches. I’m not saying he might be a lot better than we’ve seen, but I think it’s worth seeing more of him
I thought Cooper did a great job. Look at the other players on that team… he was one of the best players on that team. No one expected much from him, but he did pretty good.
He was overall average, on any team. Being the best player on the Marlins isn’t saying much.
According to OPS+ he was better than average.
I know it means nothing because he doesn’t wear Yankee stripes… but he was better than average.
Marlins need a TOR SP, another mid-rotation SP, significant help on offense, like 3-4 bats, including the entire OF, and at least 2-3 bullpen arms
Lol as a Marlins fan, why are we talking about this right now? They failed in their rebuilding trades, miserably, and didnt even really save any money there either. The direction is good. It’s just going to take longer than it should have. They have good pieces in the lower minor leagues. Just need to continue to develop and add talent to the organization. Trading for boom or bust prospects isnt a great strategy.
How did they not save any money? They saved a ton on Stanton alone.
I dont know why I’m going into this again multiple years later, so I dont want to go into details. They took back Starlin Castro and gave up another $30 million to get the 3rd and 4th pieces they should have got, although I dont think that money conveys, assuming he opts out. I’m also talking about the money that specific season. You would have thought they’d try and trade Casfro when he had some value last year, but they didnt. They also waited too long to move certain money in potential packages with useful players, or by eating a tiny amount at the time to make them more movable, and those players got hurt, and lost whatever value they may have had left. They just had a lot of dead money, where they could have moved at least some of it…again though, a lot would have to go into this conversation that I dont have energy for. I’m just saying they didnt save that much money that season
“A lot would have to go into this conversation that i don’t have time for” is another way of saying you had no real answer to his question. Jeter can’t win in these arguments with you guys. People complain that he’s a “cheap owner” because he traded out of stanton’s albatross salary. Simultaneously you complain that he didn’t trade a useful player in a trade to get someone else to eat the salaries of Castro or other players, assuming you mean Chen. including a player with value in a trade with someone with a bad contract just to dump salary is the sign of a cheap owner, Loria literally did it with every trade, yet now you’re chastising Jeter for not doing it. Ever stop to think they tried to trade Chen and/or Castro as individual pieces and were willing to eat money, but there were no takers anyway because they are middling players.
Whoa again, you’re arguing things I’m not arguing. But literally I was waiting in a drs office at that time. The Marlins have good pieces in the lower minor leagues, and decent pitching in the big leagues. If they get lucky, they may get something more out of the close to the big leagues guys, and everything may come together earlier than expected, but I think it’s going to be a couple of more years before you see the whole organization in good shape. Then as players get to the big leagues, it will likely take another couple of years of building up. I’ve always said I was confident that when it eventually mattered they would do the right things. I’m just saying, they messed up certain key trades/decisions that may have sped up the timeline, b/c they still dont maximize their assets as much as they should; one example of that being holding onto bullpen arms last year for no reason, or…trading Christian Yelich at his age, on that contract for 2 raw/low floor guys, a 1 year results from no pedigree dude coming off a bad year, and a potential backend SP who might be the best piece in the trade, 3 of those guys not heing close to the big leagues at the time…and it’s not in hindsight b/c you can go back multiple years on this site and see me saying the same things about certain players. Marlins didnt even get as much as the Nationals gave up for Adam Eaton. I’ve been a season ticket holder, or gone to at least 50-70+ games every year since I was a little kid in 1995, with the exception of a couple of more recent years where I was only able to go to somewhere in the 25-30 range. Dont try to act like I dont support them, but i honestly dont need to go further than that to explain why they lengthened the rebuilding process in certain bad trades, multiple years later.
What OF group would you like? Bleday, Misner, Harrison? J. Encarnacion, J. Sanchez, Burdick? VVM, B. Miller, M. Sierra?
What do you mean? I’m talking about in the big leagues currently by the way, or at least, close to the big leagues. Of those players, Sanchez is closest to the big leagues, and Harrison is boom or bust, so I dont think of him as anything until he actually hits in the big leagues, same way I felt about him and Brinson when they were in Milwaukee
no Lewis Brinson that for sure
1.Billy Hamilton/ Victor Victor Mesa scotts say defense are big-league ready right now. He’s a well above-average runner with the savvy to steal bases and he chases down balls from gap to gap in center field. Few players at his position can match
2. Brian Miller would be a better option over Austin Dean depend on obp
3. find a place for César Puello 1.1 war/Harold Ramirez share
4. like to see Garrett Cooper stay at first for 2020
haha what a horrible take. If you honestly believe that they “failed miserably” on their rebuilding trades (Sixto, Jesus, Gallen (now Jazz), Alcantara, Alfaro, Neidert, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison) and “didn’t really save any money either” (saved over 200 million on the Stanton deal, all of Dee Gordon’s contract, all of Yelich’s contract (this is the only trade we clearly lost, BTW) and all of Ozuna’s arbitration money) then you clearly haven’t been paying attention.
How does a team that is doing the rebuild so badly have a consensus Top 5 farm system in baseball with still a key draft to go?
I should have used more details, but I would also argue you’re taking what I said to a super high level, and ignoring key points. I’m at a drs office, but when I get a chance, I’ll elaborate slightly more. Keep in mind, you can go back on this website, and see me advocating for trades for a year before they happened. Not questioning that. I also should have been more specific for which trades were issues b/c the dee Gordon trade was really good, although (even though it was different ownership) they should have never traded for him in the first place, the Realmuto trade, having waited too long was ok, would have liked another piece, and I dont trust undersized RHPs with no history of real innings before this year, but it’s fine at that point. If you’re including trades made during this season, the Tampa trade for Jesus Sanchez was very good, but I wasnt referring to that. As j said, I can expound a bit more later
Sure. Happy to discuss. Of course I count the trades from this year, why wouldn’t we? They finally made the smart decision of trading bullpen pieces at their highest value.
I was shocked after they didnt do that last year.
i hope you not saying Yelich’s contract was not worth it if so till someone proves to be that good dont deserve that type of money
are you saying Yelich’s contract would be lose money lol with ticket sales and mecadise and tv rating alog would made up for his contract.
to me marlins lost money on Yelich’s contract
explain to me you thought how marlins save money mlb economy said other wise
dee gorden money was and not save money thanks to castrol . dee was more popular than castrol at time .
saved over 200 million wrong check your numbers again
Do you even know what you’re talking about “rockoflove”? We are talking strictly payroll. Of course the MArlins lost money in terms of attendance, merchandise etc. with this rebuild. Everyone does.
– Stanton: Yankees took over 260 million of the contract (yes, Starlin came back on this trade so you can subtract about 20 million from the 260 on the Stanton contract if you’d like).
– Dee Gordon: Mariners took care of the TOTAL amount of the contract, around 50 million (Starlin Castro has nothing to do with this deal, not sure why you mentioned him here).
– Yelich: I DID NOT say that his contract was a waste of money or that Miami won the Yelich deal. I clearly wrote that Miami simply saved money on that trade. It’s simple, before the trade the Marlins owed 60 million to Yelich and after the trade they had obviously saved that money. That does not mean that it was a good trade for Miami.
– Ozuna: 22 million in arbitration money
– Realmuto: Around 20 million in arbitration money
In total, the Marlins saved around 400 million with all of their trades. I couldn’t understand why “formerlys” was saying that the Marlins “didn’t really save a lot of money with the trades”.
For that year
Galloway and O’Brien have about 100 PAs between them in a combined 33 games, they’re not exactly clogging up the positions this year. But I agree, I’d like to see Dean get more reps in because I think he can at least be a productive player
I’ve heard, from someone in the organization, that they dont consider Dean to be anything/a fit on this team, which is probably why he hasnt really gotten much of a real look in the big leagues to this point. It makes sense in the idea he has no real defensive position, and Marlins Park is probably not conducive to his swing, but I do think he can hit, if given enough chances, and could be an offensive contributor somewhere else
How about a New Owner, New GM, New Name , New City.
How about a New Owner, New GM,, back to stadium green colors and 2012 jersey colors name is good agree
and cant leave miami till 2045 stadium deal.
I think Three Needs is too constraining for Marlins, Orioles, etc. How about Six or Seven?
Even with all those superstars on the roster in 2017, the Marlins were well under .500.
Its easy to see the new front office has a plan to build up a strong MiLB first. Even though the Christian Yelich trade was a lopsided bust, all the other trades look very good. They dumped the high salaries faster than expected.
I think the Marlins will continue to find players to “hold the fort” for one more year. In the mean time, there’s one more year of Wei-Yin Chen and his $ 22 M. They seem to be building faster at MiLB levels than other rebuilding teams. In 2021, I think their plan will rapidly come together.
there you go again saying the new roster can win a ws before 2017 and bring in ore ticket sale ,tv ratings
bad joke get real jeter fan nt a marlins fan you thank that
read from tree sites that Jorge Alfaro, has a 5.18 era with pitchers and Bryan Holaday has a 4.23 era with pitchers
Lewis Brinson -1..9 war give up on