Are the Miami Marlins ready to make third baseman Brian Anderson the centerpiece of the team’s future success?
I’m going to jump on the Miami Marlins bandwagon for a moment and do a little bit of cheering. Brian Anderson, through a Tweet by Craig Mish, has stated he wants to be part of the organization’s long-term plan and likes what the front office is doing to make this franchise a contender in the future.
Anderson, one of the few remaining homegrown players from well before the Derek Jeter era of ownership, should be the first consideration of being made a Miami Marlins player for as long as he wants to be part of this blueprint. While the Marlins were unsuccessful in trying to keep J.T. Realmuto last season, hoping he would become the face of the franchise, it appears Anderson, 27, is ready to assume that responsibility.
Yes, with this kind of statement, which is a glowing endorsement of what the Marlins have in front of them, it’s a responsibility not taken lightly.
The Miami Marlins have worked the past two off-seasons and the spring of this year to continue to build a foundation of youth mixed with veteran players that would be able to sustain a winning formula for more than just a few seasons.
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The Marlins were a team prior to the sale of the team after the 2017 season made up of individual stars who looked great in the batter’s box, but the team wasn’t winning. Jeter, who had grown up in the Yankees organization and saw what the front office did to win championships, took a new approach. That included cutting Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, and Realmuto loose. It was a painful approach.
In the process, he held on to Anderson and other prospects that remained in the minors and added to the meager offerings with top talent from other teams. The plan is still taking shape. Anderson hopes to be around to see the fruits of the labor the front office has put in.
Anderson is eligible for arbitration after the season. He becomes a free agent after 2023. Let’s hope Michael Hill and Jeter have the foresight to eliminate the potential of losing one of MLB’s under-the-radar players. Like I have said before, while many fans on the baseball landscape don’t know a lot about the former Arkansas third-rounder, the teams in the National League East know about him and could make an offer or two for him, should the Marlins fall into the baseball abyss at the end of the season.
Miami Marlins fans pray that does not happen in a shortened season.
Last year, Anderson hit 20 home runs and 66 RBI but his season was cut short five weeks due to a broken hand. This season, Anderson and the Miami Marlins season is cut short because of COVID-19 and a stalemate between owners and players. If the Marlins are able to get rolling this season, Anderson could have a season that is worthy of star recognition.
I’m a huge Anderson fan, having watched him play two seasons here in Jacksonville on the Marlins Double-A team. He is a player the organization hit on when they drafted him and hopefully that turns into one of the best decisions the franchise makes over the next decade.
And, hopefully, that means the team’s third baseman is in South Florida for that long as well.