What will Santa Claus leave under the tree for the Miami Marlins? After a losing season and plenty of questions surrounding 2019, what does this organization want most from Jolly St. Nick?
The weather in south Florida isn’t frightful for the Miami Marlins. A winning season in 2019 would be so delightful. Since there are plenty of questions that still exist for this team this offseason, the front office could use a little and few presents from Santa Claus himself to make the future bright.
There are plenty of things to be thankful for this upcoming baseball season, but the fans in Miami know this is a team that will look plenty different. Gone will be catcher J.T. Realmuto (or at least that is the current plan). The pitching staff may have a few new faces.
The bench might have more depth. Finally, manager Don Mattingly will be working this season in the last year of his four-year deal with the team. There is no word of an extension.
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Mattingly is going about his daily routine with the intention of making contenders out of the roster given to him by CEO Derek Jeter.
Can the lovable Donnie Baseball create magic in Miami? It remains to be seen.
With less than a week before Christmas, the Marlins have made a list and have checked more than twice. Hopefully, what they wished for will get this team closer to .500 than it has been in some time. The fans sure hope so. The local and national media are holding their collective breath.
Here are three Christmas wishes for the Miami Marlins.
A veteran reliever or closer – The Marlins have two players on the current roster in Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider who are battling for the closer’s role. Will Miami seek another veteran to come in and become the everyday closer?
There is a school of thought that Miami is looking for veteran help or a long reliever to find a balance for new pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.
Solving the First Base dilemma – The Marlins could promote from within the organization. Peter O’Brien appears to be the frontrunner to replace Justin Bour in the middle of the batting order, but there are others who could make an impact as well.
Watch for Garrett Cooper, who was the team’s starting right fielder on Opening Day. Injuries took away the majority of his season.
The Marlins could sign free agent Logan Morrison or Matt Adams to a deal or seek help from the trade involving Realmuto. Whoever wins the job had better bring the lumber as there is no proven power source on this roster.
End the Realmuto trade talk – It is a topic that is literally bringing any other news about the Marlins to a halt.
There are many teams that could still make a deal for the All-Star catcher but the longer trade talks persist, the more inclined I am to think this might not get done in a timely fashion. It could linger on toward Spring Training.
Look for the Marlins to slow play this as if it were no-limit poker. There is no sense of urgency with this kind of a deal, but the distraction could weigh on the roster.
Ask Craig Mish of Sirius XM Radio, and he will tell you – for fun – the Atlanta Braves are the odds-on favorite to land Realmuto. There are six or seven other teams that have a legitimate shot at him as well. It’s all about the right deal for Miami and the return they receive on their investment.