Jul 5, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics infielder Ben Zobrist (18) prepares to throw the ball to first from his knees to record an out against the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Mariners defeated the Athletics 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
There will still be questions about the roster. What kind of player will Marcell Ozuna, who might be Super Two eligible at the end of this season, be? Justin Bour can probably be a solution at first base, at least against right handers, but what role will Michael Morse have?
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Honestly, Jeff Mathis is likely to be re-signed, so what kind of production will you get from him and JT Realmuto?
The team could also use some more position player depth to prevent a lot of the failures that have plagued the team this season.
In addition, the Marlins should probably buy some more talent in free agency next offseason, which might open up the door for more trades.
Maybe a Ben Zobrist signing opens the door for Derek Dietrich, Marcell Ozuna, or even both being dealt. Zobrist could be rotated between third and left and could also see some time at right, second, first, and center even. The Marlins could sign another starting pitcher and make one of their holdovers or a newly acquired pitcher available.
In this scenario, the Miami Marlins are holding onto their current core while turning over their supporting cast and extending their window to win. They might not win right away, but their long-term outlook improves. Then again, there is also quite a bit of risk here.
A lot of stock would be placed in young pitching prospects, a 38 reliever, a third baseman that has been replacement or worse 4 of his 7 seasons, and a starter approaching his 30s that has had some injury problems. There is upside though, and more importantly the margin for error wouldn’t be so slim this time around.
Other than rebuilding, this is the best strategy for the team. Simply buying or selling isn’t going to cut it given where this team is right now.
The team can retool very quickly, but it has to be very smart about the moves it makes. It can’t look at each deal in isolation but rather as a part of a much larger puzzle. If it does, it might find itself a contender sooner rather than later.
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