After signing Victor Victor Mesa and his brother Victor Mesa, Jr., what will be the next offseason move for the Miami Marlins?
It was the smell of victory on Monday. After making deals to secure enough international bonus pool money and signing two of the most sought-after Cuban prospects in Victor Victor Mesa and his brother, Victor Mesa, Jr., what will be the next move for the Miami Marlins this offseason? Will this team continue to make a splash in free agency or will this be the lone move the organization can hang its hat on?
The moment was right for this move. Derek Jeter made another big statement a year after taking over as the franchise’s owner. After a season of losing, a changing of the roster and abandoning the concept of winning with star players, the jet-setting owner of the Miami Marlins turned a few heads this month by pinpointing the Mesas as targets for the future of this franchise and doing what was necessary to acquire them.
It’s a small celebration, but it means more to the baseball community in South Florida than some might realize.
"“This was a big day for us as an organization,” Jeter said. “Our objective is to increase the level of talent and here’s another example of us doing it. Victor Victor has a track record of a lot of success, so we’re pretty high on him. Our scouts are extremely high on him.“I think you talk to all 30 MLB teams and Victor Victor was very high on their list.”"
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Jeter was right. Now, the Marlins must maintain momentum heading into the Hot Stove season, something the ball club could not do consistently on the diamond as 98 losses in 2018 will attest. If the Marlins are playoff contenders in two or three years, this move along with the trades that brought in a host of young prospects including Lewis Brinson, Sandy Alcantara, Nick Neidert, Monte Harrison, and Isan Diaz will be the catalyst.
The moment on Monday, captured by the national baseball media may also be a reason for baseball fans who have been crying for a winner to exhale ever so slightly. Jeter has been a winner all his baseball career. Losing this past season was tough to swallow. It was a necessary evil to get to where he wants to be with the fan base in Miami.
That fan base will grow with the addition of the Mesas and the growth of a culture this organization is trying to reform from the ground up. It does not take away from the fact Christian Yelich will win an MVP award in Milwaukee in the coming weeks. It does not take away from the team’s need to sign catcher J.T. Realmuto to a long-term deal. But it does make everyone who is a Marlins fan about how things can be.
Jeter and the front staff have had this game plan all along.
"“Both are five-tool players,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “When you think out what Victor Victor represents, it’s what we’ve done through our trades, our draft picks — athletic and above average bat, runner, defender, throwing arm and fits very well with the type of player we like.“We had a little less history with Victor Jr. [ because of his age], but tremendous talent when he was thrown into the showcase and facing a lot older, experienced players. He held his own and did a great job.”"
The Marlins still have needs on the Major League level. A first baseman with power. Depth in the bullpen. A closer who is consistent. A coaching staff still to be filled. For one day, everything was right in Miami. The way it should be. It’s been nine seasons since the Marlins had a winning record. The Latino and Cuban community won the baseball lottery on Monday.
This franchise wants to embrace the community so attendance grows with the development of players. Signing the Mesas, who are great talents, help this team move forward on the field, in the stands and into the future.