If the Miami Marlins continue their most recent trend, does it make sense to add another former Los Angeles Dodgers player to their roster?
The Miami Marlins have signed relief pitcher Yimi Garcia to a free agent contract and brought outfielder Matt Kemp in this week by offering him a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
While these moves may not seem like blockbuster acquisitions, they do have a common thread in that they both played with the Los Angeles Dodgers and have a connection to current Marlins manager Don Mattingly. If the Marlins are hoping familiarity with Mattingly and the way he runs a baseball team will lead to more success on the field, does that mean Miami’s front office steps up their discussions with outfielder Yasiel Puig to give South Florida more of a Dodger Blue flavor?
I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to see this as three possible positive moves by the Marlins, who still need a swift kick in the backside to climb out of the dungeon of the National League East. All four the Marlins rivals in the division have done something this offseason to improve their MLB roster.
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Miami has made moderate moves that make the team better on paper currently, but until games are played and chess pieces are moved around, fans won’t know the real impact of what has taken place so far this offseason. Hot Stove is starting to move at a steadier pace, which means other players could be added to the team’s 40-man roster before Christmas.
That means Jolly St. Nick could once again be very good to this organization. There are still several solid players who could be added at a price tag Derek Jeter and Michael Hill could live with.
There is still talk the Marlins are interested in Corey Dickerson and Kole Calhoun – two sluggers who would instantly make the middle of the batting order better. Then there is Puig, who has shown interest in playing in Miami and for Mattingly, who was his manager when he came up from the minors. His bat and ability to play the corner outfield positions would make an impact on the roster as well.
As my colleague here at Marlin Maniac, David Fernandez wrote, the move to being in Kemp could pay off as a low-risk, high reward type move, similar to what the front office tried to do with Neil Walker last season.
"“Kemp is a three-time all-star and could provide Miami with a power bat off the bench. In his 14-year career, Kemp has hit 281 home runs and 335 doubles,” Fernandez writes. “He’s knocked in 1010 runs and picked up 503 walks. His career batting average is .285, with a .337 OBP and .485 SLG percentage.”"
The Marlins have made a few heads turn since Jeter took over the day-to-day operations of the organization by filling the front office and support staff with former New York Yankees employees. A move to reunite Puig with former Dodgers makes sense and could help Miami get past the fifth rung of the NL East ladder.
The franchise must start somewhere. Putting the wheels in motion to bring in players have worked with Mattingly in the past isn’t just a smart move, it might become the right move that ignites change in the team’s position in baseball’s daily standings.