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The Positive Side of Marlins Off-Season Moves
- Updated: December 28, 2012
The Miami Marlins have been spot light of major criticism for their off-season moves and for the lack thereof. They started it off by firing manager Ozzie Guillen, who they traded for last season sending Jhan Martinz and Oscaldo Martinez to the White Soxs, Ozzie is going to get paid about 8 million dollars from the Marlins over the next 3 years. They probably did this because there was no way Ozzie would let them trade away all the players they did in the blockbuster with the Blue Jays. They hired Mike Redmond, which was a good signing considering their options, they followed the new trend in the MLB which is having former catchers as managers maybe it works out. Mike Redmond will be a great manager, players will be able to relate to him and he will not be causing trouble through the media like Ozzie Guillen did.
The Marlins most censured trade was the blockbuster with the Blue Jays where they sent Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck to Toronto for Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick. At first glance this looks like one of the worst trade in MLB history, but that is just because the Marlins are trading the big names players that are very marketable for no names that no one in South Florida knows. If you look at all the aspects in this deal it is not as bad as we think it is. Jose Reyes is going to make 52 million over the next 6 years (16 mil in ’14), that is a lot of money for some one that would be entering their thirties and that was coming off a not so good season. Josh Johnson 1 year/13.75 million remaining on his contract, the Marlins were probably planning to let him go, Josh had the worst ERA in his career (3.81), he allowed the second most amount of hits, he did have a decent amount of strike outs with 165, last season could have been an off year for Josh Johnson or he could be declining we will find out this upcoming season with the Blue Jays which one was it. Mark Buehrle who recently signed with the Marlins last off-season was also thrown into the Blue Jays trade after being told that he would not be traded and to finish it off the amount of taxes he is going to have to pay is crazy but the marlins would not have to do that if they had a good season which they did not but Buehrle did not disappoint to his standards with the Marlins, fans just thought that he was way better than he actually was. Emilio Bonifacio who’s season was plagued by injuries was shipped to Toronto as well, this was the head scratch out of all of them, they all ready gave up 3 of their 4 best players and then they want to give up Bonifacio too? The Blue Jays don’t even need a second base man, they have Maicer Izturis starting for them as of now. Bonifacio also has a very cheap contract but with only 1 year left on it, so just like JJ (Josh Johnson) they were not going to re-sign him. The last piece of the trade which all fans love to see go was John Buck, he had a horrible season I mean horrible he was probably the most hated player after Heath Bell. This without a doubt was the best part of the deal getting rid of a guy like Buck with that contract is hard.
The players the Marlins received in that trade were not that well known except for Yunel Escobar (shortstop) who was suspended for putting a gay slur in Spanish on his face. Yunel did not stay a Marlin for long though, he was traded just weeks later to the Tampa Bay Rays for Derek Dietrich. Derek was an infielder in the Rays minor league system, he spent 3 years in the minor league system he had an batting average of .278 and OBP of .342. Adeiny Hechavarria a Cuban infielder who has shown he has a lot of talent, when called up to the big leagues this past season in 41 games having 137 plate appearance he batted .254, had 15 RBIs and 32 hits. The Marlins will most likely have him in the starting line up on opening day unless they sign or trade for someone better. Henderson Álvarez is coming off his first full year in the majors, he had a 4.85 ERA, 9 wins and 14 losses he had a career high 79 strike outs, but allowed 216 hits. This up and down season could be a result of it being his first full years in the major so he might not have been a custom to all the travel, and schedule. He should make the Marlins starting rotation with no problem and maybe he surprises us. Anthony DeSclafani played his first year of baseball in the minors last season. He came out of the University of Florida he went 13-9 for his career there with 115 strike outs, and was drafted out the 6th round by the Blue Jays. Anthony spent his whole season in single A playing for the Landsing Lugnuts(that’s no typo). He will most likely make his major league debut with the Miami Marlins. Justin Nicolino a 21 year old left handed pitcher and just like Anthony has yet to make his major league debut and spend last season in single A playing for the Landsing Lugnuts with DeSclafani. Justin has spent two year in the minor after being drafted in 2010 by the Blue Jays in the second round of the June Amateur Draft. Last season he pitched 124 innings had a 2.46 ERA, 119 strike outs, and he went 10-4. Those are some very good stats, Justin has good ball control but his fastball is not that great, it’s average. Jeff Mathis a veteran catcher that has been in the majors since 2005, is a below average catcher. He has a career batting average of .198 but last season he batted .218 which was a career high, Jeff has never hit more than 10 home runs. Jeff was probably the worst player the Marlins got in the trade, he has no upside at all. The last piece of the Blue Jays/Marlins block buster was Jake(Jacob) Marisnick. Jake is a 21 year old 6’4 200 pound outfielder, in his first and second years in the Blue Jays minor league system Jake spent it in single A but this past season Jake moved up to Double A, playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. In Double A he batted .233, had 52 hits, 15 RBIs, and 11 doubles in 223 at bats. He played just 55 games for the Fisher Cats. Jake was ranked 35th out of 100 and he was ranked the 7th best outfield prospect in this article about prospects to watch for. The Marlins’ outfielder Christan Yelich was also on that list of top overall prospects (#17) and top outfield prospects (#4).
The best move by the Marlins all off-season by far, that not one fan disagreed with was the Heath Bell trade. The Marlins sent Heath Bell to Arizona but they had to pay 8 million of the remaining 21 million in his contract but it is worth it. The Marlins received Yordy Cabrera in the Heath Bell trade from the Oakland A’s. Yordy Cabrera is 6’1 205 pounds and 22 years old who plays shortstop. Last season he spent his time in the minors in single A playing for the Stockton Ports. He batted .232, had 21 RBIs, 51 hits, in 60 games with 220 at bats. He will probably spend a good amount of time in Marlins minor league system before making it the majors if he even does.
The Marlins have had a few signings this off-season,they had signed former marlin and fan favorite Juan Pierre, they also brought in veteran Placido Polanco to play 3rd and right hand pitcher John Maine. The Juan Pierre signing which some have called damage control, was a good one for baseball and business Juan Pierre is coming off a season with the Philles where he hit .307, had 121 hits, 37 stolen bases, and had a OBP of .351, Juan played 130 games and had 94 at bats. Juan will replace the speed lost by trading away Emilio Bonifacio. Placido Palanco is a great signing for the Marlins considering they had no one to play 3rd base but now they have a veteran that can maybe mentor a young 3rd base prospect. Palanco does not have much power but he can make contact with the ball and is much better than the options the Marlins currently have. John Maine is a 31 year old right handed pitcher, he’ll need a great spring training to make the big league team but i doubt he does, he will stay in the minors all season unless a pitcher gets hurt and Maine is needed to be called up. John Maine is brother of Scott Maine, Scott is also on the Marlins roster after they picked him up off waivers from the Blue Jays.
The Marlins did not bring in any big name stars like last season but look what happened last season they fail horribly. Marlin fans should just wait and see how the team does in spring training and at the start of season before overreacting, and saying stuff like boycott the team or that they will pick a new favorite team. If the Marlins do good all of the fans that were screaming at them for trading everyone away will come running back, we will just have to be patience. The future of the Marlins is bright, especially at outfield with Stanton and some great prospects in the farm system.