As you all may know, it is Christmas Eve, the day portion of it (at least for me). This Christmas, I’m not planning to get much for myself. I am planning on getting gifts for people, but it is otherwise going to be a dull Christmas. I suspect the same thing will be the case for the Florida Marlins. Still, I think it would be a good idea for me to ask Santa to help out the Marlins with their personnel moves. So here’s my Christmas wish list for the Marlins for the rest of the offseason.
1. Please do not start Emilio Bonifacio
Whatever the team does, the last thing it should consider is starting Bonifacio. Even if the club thinks there is a future in his career (I highly doubt it, but I guess it could happen), Bonifacio clearly showed that he needs time in the minor leagues. Last season, Bonifacio walked in just seven percent of his plate appearances, and for a player who projects at zero power, he simply would not provide any value offensively. Because Bonifacio’s defense is less than stellar, even with his speed (according to most of the metrics), he would be a complete liability on the field for the Marlins. It is of the utmost importance to the 2010 team that Bonifacio does not sniff starting playing time. If the team wants any chance to compete, preventing Bonifacio from starting should be at the top of the list.
2. Sign a cheap corner outfielder
I’ve been clamoring about this for a while since the offseason started, so I’d like to make it part of my official Christmas list. One of the ways we can prevent Bonifacio from making the Opening Day lineup is to use Chris Coghlan as Dan Uggla’s eventual replacement at second base (Uggla leaving is almost inevitable). The only problem with this move from the Marlins’ perspective is that it opens up a hole in the corner outfield. Luckily for the Fish, corner outfielders are much easier to replace than second basemen, and the market this season is flooded with cheap ones. Options such as Eric Hinske, Endy Chavez, and Ryan Church have already been discussed here, but there are three or so other cheap options available for the team. The Marlins could platoon a signing with Brett Carroll, something the team already did last year with Jeremy Hermida. Signing one of these cheap outfield options would take a big step towards replacing the production Uggla provided.
3. Give Brett Carroll more playing time.
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the last point. Last season, Carroll played 353 innings in the outfield and saved almost 14 more runs than the average outfielder at his position. Undoubtedly, his rate cannot possibly be correct, but the team should explore the possibility of giving Carroll more playing time. His hitting is likely terrible, but the projections say different things. While Bill James is very optimistic (.252/.313/.429 slash line, .319 wOBA), CHONE is far less so (.239/.304/.398 slash, around a .281 wOBA).My own offensive projection for Carroll is around a .300 wOBA and a +14/150 defender, leaving him as worth 0.7 WAR in CHONE’s 352 PA. This sort of production would be worth an extended look.
4. Do the typical Marlins bullpen magic
A lot of players from the bullpen look to be leaving the team due to arbitration. We already saw Matt Lindstrom and Kiko Calero head out, and Renyel Pinto (hopefully) is on his way out as well. With Leo Nunez entrenched as the closer, the team needs to fill out its remaining bullpen slots. Despite being linked to some interesting names like Matt Capps, look for the team to play its classic game of junkyard diving for relief help. Usually, the team is successful in filling in those holes effectively, as noted last season with the pickups of Calero and Dan Meyer. The club should find similar success this year. That’s definitely on my wish list.
Hopefully the team can come up with these moves and give me my Marlins wish for this year. Oh yeah, and one more thing.
5. Win the NL East!
Yeah, it’s a long shot. Call it a New Year’s resolution, since those things don’t usually stick.