2015 Miami Marlins Season Review: Background and Takeaways

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Oct 4, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) stands on second base after hitting a double during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. He would score a run on an error. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Jeffrey Loria and management decided to go all in and make a drive at the playoffs in 2012 the team also chugged to an incredibly disappointing 69 win season.  The Miami Marlins, playing in their shiny new stadium, were forced to correct their track and trade many contributors from that team including Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle Anibal Sanchez and the much maligned Heath Bell.  

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The Marlins gave up and traded Reyes and Buehrle to the Toronto Blue Jays for what was an intriguing haul of players, which included Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino and Jeff Mathis.

The Marlins, for better or worse, restocked their farm system with what could be termed “talent” in the wake of the 2012 season.

The decision was made. The Marlins weren’t going to compete at all in 2013 as made plain by such amazing free agent signings, as Casey Kotchman, Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco. The idea was to find and develop that they had acquired in the past year.  This included Hechavarria, Alvarez, Jacob Turner, Rob Brantly, Nathan Eovaldi, as well as players that were already in the organization, such as Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna.

The Marlins in 2013 also drafted the highly touted third baseman from the University of North Carolina Colin Moran with the sixth overall pick.  For Marlins fans 2013 was terrible but at least there was some hope, with much of it that was realized in 2014.

2014 was interesting because it showed us what kind of team they could have with Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna playing alongside Giancarlo Stantonaided by what was an intriguing bunch of veterans that went from extremely random, like Casey McGehee to what seemed like a genius at the time signing of a power hitting catcher, in Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The Marlins completely outplayed expectations in 2014, but at the same time they started to unravel what was a sustainable plan for future success.

On July 31st of 2014, Marlins management namely, Michael Hill and Dan Jennings, made the first move that would lead to the Marlins being in the situation they are in right now. When they traded Jake Marisnick and Colin Moran to the Houston Astros for Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez.  The Marlins had come to conclusion that Marisnick was blocked from ever playing the Major Leagues and deemed him expendable. They also chose to sacrifice long-term depth by also trading Moran.

That was just the beginning.

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In the winter, the Marlins systematically dismantled all their top Major League ready prospects, in trade after trade, that had the purpose of winning now.

Anthony DeSclafani became an obviously declining Mat Latos, Nathan Eovaldi netted the Marlins Martin Prado and David Phelps, and worst of all the Marlins traded their top prospect Andrew Heaney, along with the recently acquired Kiké Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Chris Hatcher for Dee Gordon and Dan Haren.

The Marlins also signed the right-handed slugger Michael Morse to play first base and to bat behind Giancarlo Stanton, in the cleanup spot.

The Miami Marlins somehow turned what was a fine stable of Major League ready players into Mat Latos, Martin Prado, David Phelps Dee Gordon and Dan Haren. They mortgaged the farm, and even if it had worked it was inadvisable. More often than not the most important thing a team can have is depth and the Marlins came into 2015 with no viable options, in case of injuries or whatever other situation arose.

My criticism stems from what was an obviously negligent way of running a baseball team.

Regardless of how the team played or if the players the Marlins acquired last winter had been successful or not.  Not one trade was the problem, but it was the accumulation of giving up so much value and depth for so little that ultimately sank the Marlins.

Regardless of what the Marlins did, there is still major upside that can be taken from these moves and what they can mean for the team going forward.

Next: What Does the Future Hold?