Miami Marlins: Still doing some holiday window shopping

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 04: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 04, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - AUGUST 04: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Miami Marlins looks on during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 04, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins are starting to feel the heat of the holidays from not signing big-time free agents this offseason.

There isn’t a definitive feel to how the Miami Marlins have handled free agency so far this season other than the front office has been more productive than in the past two seasons under the watchful eye of CEO Derek Jeter. As a team that has bought more than it has sold and is still looking to expand its roster with other veterans who could still impact his organization, fans must see this as a step forward, not as a step in place.

The Marlins have made improvements. The lineup is stronger thanks to the trade for Jonathan Villar and the waiver wire pickup of Jesus Aguilar. The bench could be deeper if Matt Kemp makes the opening day roster out of camp in March and the addition of Francisco Cervelli as a second backstop behind Jorge Alfaro.

Bringing in Yimi Garcia in relief will help stabilize a position of shakiness. But what the Marlins haven’t done yet is sign the one big name that shows the rest of Major League Baseball they are serious about leaping out of the National League East cellar. And because the market continues to shrink with each free agent signing with other ballclubs, the sand in the hourglass gets smaller and smaller.

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The news in the last two days has been Kole Calhoun inking a deal with Diamondbacks and Nicholas Castellanos possibly moving over the to Chicago White Sox. Avisail Garcia is now in Milwaukee and Justin Smoak, another possible link to the Marlins, has joined him. What these moves have done is create a bit of nervous energy amongst fans, hoping the front office does not get left out of the party. Miami still needs a bat or two and depth on the bench.

Yasiel Puig is still on the open market and so is Marcell Ozuna. Signing both to a contract to come to South Florida would be one of the biggest headlines of the offseason here in Miami, but it’s very unlikely. Puig wants to wear a Marlins jersey, so I’m wondering what is the holdup?

A concession of sorts by the front office – Jeter and Michael Hill – would have to happen to sign Ozuna, who is a bit costly for this team’s payroll but worth the change in spending direction if it were to happen. Now, it appears the big move we are talking about rests on the shoulders of Puig, who makes sense for all the right reasons.

The idea of signing Corey Dickerson is still on the board as well. Maybe fans will get their present late unless some brokering can be done today. But until they are notified, it’s another Christmas without a big move to speak of. The other complementary parts the Marlins have acquired are nice.

But if the team is serious about winning this coming season, I’m sure everyone in baseball would like to see them step to the plate and swing for the fences with a little more authority than it has so far this offseason.

Next. The Marlins must find their fifth starter. dark

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