Nov 19, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; The jumbotron shows a photo of Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton after a press conference at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to our first Miami Marlins Round Table Discussion. On today’s agenda, we’ll be grading the Marlins offseason, assessing the best and worst moves, as well as making a prediction for how many games the Marlins can win in 2015.
1. What Grade would you give the Marlins offseason? Why?
Ehsan Kassim: B+. The offseason began with a big bang, as the Marlins were able to lock up Giancarlo Stanton long term. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the front office, the end of the offseason ended with a sizzle, as James Shields didn’t decide to bring his talents to Marlins Park.
Daniel Zylberkan: B; I think we made a lot of positive moves the biggest of which was locking up Giancarlo Stanton long term. But most importantly I think we made a lot of moves that shows that Loria and management seem to be committed to wining now. Mat Latos is a clear top of the rotation guy and I am huge fan of the Martin Prado deal.
Miller Lepree: Grade: B+. The team actively looked to improve, doing so on a tiny budget. They managed upgrades at three infield positions, and one (possibly 2) rotation spots. They were willing to part with young talent, but they did drastically overpay for Dee Gordon. Overall, I’m happy with the offseason and excited for 2015.
Travis Honeycutt: I would give the Marlins offseason an A for effort and a B+ for execution. Loria and Co. acknowledged that changes need to be made, and they set out to do so. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of too many quality prospects for the return they got. Trading Heaney to acquire Dee Gordon and Dan Haren is a bummer. Gordon is probably going to regress and his career OBP scares me, but the Marlins were probably attracted to his “shiny” batting average last year. And at least Haren will probably pitch for the Marlins after all, if not to just eat innings in the back of the rotation. I also don’t like losing DeSclafani. I think the Marlins gave up on him too soon. If Latos stays healthy and is even close to the same pitcher he’s been for most of his career, then great. But Miami will probably only have him for one season, so enjoy it while it lasts. Signing Morse was also a solid move unless he, too regresses like the projection systems think he will. He’s still a clear upgrade over Jones, though, so I’ll take it. Oh, and I almost forgot they signed Stanton to that infinity-million dollar deal. Nevermind, the Marlins get an A+ just for that.
Dillon Murrell: B-. The Marlins did well to lock up Stanton to deal that, by current valuation methods, looks to be about fair value. However, the team failed to lock up any other core players or secure any cost certainty, outside of Mike Dunn. Those two things are very important for low payroll teams. While the Marlins gave a valiant effort in trying to sign James Shields, not doing so makes the Dee Gordon and Martin Prado deals look suspect. The Latos trade, even if he pitches in Miami for just one season, was a good deal. Desclafani has the makings of a starter, but following the Gordon deal, dealing him to secure wins for the current season was a good move. Did the team really add enough value to this year’s team to justify giving up all the future value and years of control they surrendered? Offseason deals need to be looked at as a whole, rather than individually, and they seemingly did not add enough especially when what they gave up in trades is considered. The Stanton extension was big and bumps them up to a B- from what would have been a C or C+.
Chris Posada: B+. Nothing overly sexy, but it got the job done. The Stanton deal was a no-brainer. The numbers look gaudy, but really it’s team friendly over the first three years of the deal. before spiking the next three. This give the Marlins some wiggle room to operate financially. LOVE the Latos deal. Gordon was ok; Miami needed to address second base and they did it with an All-Star that can fly. Granted, he doesn’t get on base as much as you’d like from a leadoff hitter, but he’s still young and under team control for the next few years, so there’s room to see what they have. Haren can be the X-Factor of that deal. Morse was also a nice pickup, as well as the deal for Prado. Ichiro as a bat off the bench will be odd to see, but he can still hit (.284 in 2014).