The Flying Fish
With the 2012 season comes great changes for the Marlins. New ballpark, new manager, new logo, the list runs on and on. Along with these changes to the ball club, comes new responsibility for owner Jeffrey Loria and GM Michael Hill to facilitate trades and acquisitions to bolster their current roster. With that in mind, I outlined my plans for the “Miami Marlins” in regards to this offseason, which will get them to the championship that they have longed for since 2003.
To begin with, let’s start out with the Marlins current roster.
In 2011, the Marlins went 72-90 and finished dead last in the NL East. That right, dead last, meaning behind even the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals. Something has to change, and this is how to do it.
The Plan of Attack
1. Sign Jose Reyes to a 5 year (6 yr team option) $115 million deal
This deal seems like a perfect fit for the Marlins. They get a dynamic, young, speedy shortstop who enhances the Marlins offense, as well as defense, and can provide that constant “wow factor” night after night. His signing would lead to the Marlins shifting Hanley Ramirez over to third to take the spot of talented 3rd base prospect, Matt Dominiguez. However, I would rather see the Marlins shift Hanley to 2nd base, where the Marlins would have an extremely talented double-play tandem, and in turn, they would then either deal Omar Infante for bullpen relief, or keep him as a “super sub”, being as he has an ability to play multiple positions.
2. Sign Mark Buehrle to a 2 year, $21 million deal
Yes, I know, I said that Buehrle should go to the Yankees in my 2011 Yankees Offseason Outlook, but Buehrle would also make sense for the Marlins as well. He would provide that veteran presence in their young pitching staff, and fits in as a solid 3rd starter in that rotation. Also, he would give them 180+ solid innings, providing them with durability that other Marlins pitchers such as Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco lack.
3. Trade Logan Morrison and two solid Double-A prospects to the Rays for James Shields
By now, the whole baseball world pretty much knows that Logan Morrison and Owner Jeffrey Loria don’t have the best relationship, and that they have had quarrels in the past, which primarily stemmed from Morrison’s usage of his twitter account @LoMoMarlins. This trade would put an end to an unnecessary drama within the organization and would benefit both sides as well. Shields would provide the Marlins with a #2 starter of ace quality and he and Josh Johnson would create a fearsome 1-2 punch. Also, through the additions of Shields and Buehrle, the Marlins would have a rotation of Johnson, Shields, Buehrle, Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez, which would arguably be the best in the NL East. In addition, the Rays would then send B.J. Upton to the Nationals, who are in active pursuit of a center fielder, for closer Drew Storen. This would clear up the center field spot for Desmond Jennings, allowing Morrison to play left, and would also give the Rays the long-term closer that they have been searching for since Roberto Hernandez. At this point,the Marlins could either put Omar Infante into left and move Hanley to second, or shift Matt Dominiguez to left and place Hanley at third.
With those three simple moves, the Marlins turn from a 2012 pretender into a 2012 contender, and now have a legitimate shot at winning it all for the Miami area in the years to come.
It’s time to go fishing.