Mandatory Credit:David Manning
-USA TODAY Sports
With the Winter Meetings over, the Miami Marlins’ roster looks quite a bit different than it did a few days ago. I am going to explore the winners and losers for Miami following the Winter Meetings.
Ozuna has been playing really well this winter and has been looking to break camp as the starting center fielder for Miami in 2014. The Marlins will presumably start with Jake Marisnick in the minor leagues, due to his struggles last year. That left Ozuna to battle it out in spring training with Justin Ruggiano. With Ruggiano on his way to Chicago, the job seems to be Ozuna’s at this point.
As Marlin Maniac staff writer Placido Estevez pointed out during the live blog, the Marlins have removed 3 out of the 4 players that were reported to be whistle-blowers in the Tino Martinez abuse scandal last year. Chris Valaika, Casey Kotchman and Justin Ruggiano will not be in a Marlins uniform next year, with only Derek Dietrich left in the Marlins organization. Considering how Dietrich was passed over for a call-up last year, I would not expect him to break camp with the Marlins.
This seems to be Loria’s goal, which is to remove anybody who dissented with him. Former Marlins GM Larry Beinfest repeatedly clashed with the embattled owner, and he is currently out of a job. Loria has made it clear that you do not want to be on his bad side if you want to play with the Marlins. He is certainly getting his way.
Seattle Mariners’ Fans:
Regardless about your opinions on Logan Morrison‘s ceiling as a baseball player, everyone has to admit that he is one of the best in baseball at interacting with fans. With over 120k fans following LoMo on Twitter, the Seattle fans are in for a real treat as they begin their journey with one of the best Twitter accounts on the market. I have to believe that Morrison will change his Twitter handle to something more Seattle appropriate, but I expect that his unique brand of social media will remain for Seattle fans to enjoy.
In an age where athletes are often more interested in playing with their friends than signing for the highest dollar, the Marlins front office did themselves no favors in their attempts to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term deal. Stanton was very close with Logan Morrison and Justin Ruggiano, two of the players that were recently traded.
Stanton has made it very clear in the past that he did not support trading away talented players. I can only imagine that this is going to make it even more difficult to re-sign the slugger to a contract extension. The Marlins may be better off just trading Stanton for whatever they can get for him.
I admit it, the Rafael Furcal signing happened prior to the Winter Meetings, but Donovan still has to be disappointed about it. Solano was set to be the starting second baseman for the Marlins but now it looks like he will assume the utility role in 2014. Fortunately for Solano, Furcal only signed a one year contract, so if Solano has a solid season, he may be able to reclaim the starting role in 2015. Truth be told, Solano is probably better off as a utility player, and we will see if he plays well this year in that postition.
Brantly is in a position similar to Donovan Solano, but instead of his replacement signing a 1 year deal, Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed a 3 year deal. Saltalamacchia is basically the player that Miami was hoping Brantly was going to be last year. This means that Brantly will be stuck in the minors for 3 years, assuming that he is not traded prior to Salty’s contract expiring. There are certainly things that Brantly needs to work on to become a better player, and it looks like he is going to have all the time in the world to improve in the minor leagues.
What do you think about the winners and losers? Do you think we left someone out? Let us know in the comment section below and don’t forget to download the Fansided App on the side of the page. Go Fish!