The 2020 season hasn’t even begun for the Miami Marlins and there are still plenty of things that could happen to shock the fans in South Florida.
This front office is continuing to work to produce a winner. This might be the season fans and baseball media see the changes the front office has made to the organization finally pay off.
As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote earlier this month, there are some very tight position battles the coaching staff must decide on once players get back on the field. The time off will impact the Marlins and the other 29 teams in the league.
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How Don Mattingly can get these players back in a rhythm much like they were when they posted a 12-6-2 record in their first 20 Spring Training games will prove whether the early run was a mirage or will it become the standard of the team moving forward.
We all know the Marlins are still a year or two away from contending.
The Marlins may still have a few moves to make this offseason. But what if these things happen in the coming weeks after the players are cleared to play and prepare for the 2020 season?
The Marlins sign Yasiel Puig
If Mattingly doesn’t like what he sees when players come back from the layoff and figures his team needs more power in the middle of the batting order, then this could happen.
The Marlins offer Yasiel Puig a one-year deal to play in the outfield and potentially at first base.
The Puig to Miami talk gained plenty of steam in free agency as the Marlins front office tried to bring in the former Dodgers and Indians slugger, but the two sides could not come together on a contract. Now, Puig is still a free agent and looking for a place to call home.
I deal like this could impact the team’s 26-man roster as Miami may deal one or two outfielders to other teams prior to the start of the season.
Jose Urena leads the team in wins
Never say never. In 2017, Jose Urena had 14 wins, which led Miami. In 2018, he was the Opening Day starter and followed that up with the same honor last season. While I have been beating the drum for Urena to be traded this offseason, he acts like he is listening to me, trying to prove me wrong.
Right now it may make more sense to keep Urena In the rotation given the fact that these young pitchers have had their spring turned upside down because of the layoff.
This kind of move also changes things a little bit with Elieser Hernandez moving to the bullpen. The Marlins made them look to trade either Jordan Yamamoto or Robert Dugger. Neither seems suited for bullpen action.
Garrett Cooper starts at First Base
For the past two seasons, Garrett Cooper has played his heart out in spring training and won the right to be the Marlins starting right fielder. This season things are a bit different.
The front office signed Jesus Aguilar off of waivers from Tampa Bay and expected him to become the team’s first baseman. Cooper, who has spent time at first base and in right field, Wasn’t expected to be an “everyday player” as Mattingly explained this off-season.
All that did was light a fire under Cooper who comes back to camp and produces enough to unseat Aguilar and hit clean up in the batting order.