Sale of the Marlins: Expect Resurrection, Rebuild, or Both?
Marlins Scenario No. 2: The Trendy Rebuild
As has been pointed out multiple times since 2014, the Marlins farm system isn’t exactly awesome. Last year’s first round pick Braxton Garrett is the only player projected with a reasonable amount of confidence to one day be relevant, with a wide gap between him and the rest of Top 10 tier talent. Shortsighted trades are responsible for the most part, but so is the propensity to promote young talent early under the Loria regime. That last bit has been a staple of the organization since 2003, with the arrival of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.
Make no mistake though, the odds of anyone in this system stepping up to make a major impact this year or next are long at best. The foundation that the third Marlins playoff team will be built on are either already in the majors, in another team’s farm system, or yet to be drafted.
Which means if the 2017 Marlins fail to take a major step forward, the new owner might feel the time has come to clean house entirely.
It would be the nuclear option, one that has become more popular throughout the league over the last few years, even if the success rate of it hasn’t been nearly as clearly established. There’s plenty of talent that would fetch a handsome return- Stanton, Ozuna, Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto all come to mind. The rebuilt bullpen could be partly scavenged, especially if a sale takes place before the Trade Deadline, and the team is struggling.
This scenario is entirely dependent upon the new owner betting heavily upon the hatred of Loria running so deep in South Florida that the new guy would get full benefit of the doubt that this was a temporary measure. That the plan was to do it the Cubs way, stockpiling young superstar talent while pairing it the right mix of high value, high cost veterans.
Honestly, it is a possibility. More honestly still, one I want to see happen if this team posts a losing season. At least in part.
But my money is on the bottom line being about money. Whomever ends up buying this team won’t be willing to burn through the honeymoon phase out of the gate by asking fans to believe a team with a history of bad draft and trade choices will suddenly get them all right.
Dare to dream Marlins fans. That could just be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Or it could just be the glare from the Home Run Sculpture.