I wrote quite a bit this year about who the Miami Marlins should pursue at SS this off-season. I also talked about the problems with current SS Miguel Rojas. It’s time to take a look at our options and make a prediction on what The Fish will do for the 2023 season. Who will play SS for the Miami Marlins in 2023?
The Miami Marlins have a dilemma at the SS position for 2023.
The incumbent Miguel Rojas has been a lot better than he was at first this season. Shortstop is a premium defensive position, so it’s important to keep that in mind when evaluating player performance. Rojas has a .230/.277/.324 batting line. That’s good for a 1.9 WAR, but also a very impressive 1.9 dWAR. He’s actually one of the best defensive shortstops in the game and I wonder if he’s really that bad of an option if the Miami Marlins improve our offense elsewhere.
Free agency offers the Miami Marlins some intriguing options… let’s start with Dansby Swanson from our division rivals the Atlanta Braves. Swanson is having a career year with a .288/.341/.448 batting line good for 4.7 WAR. Swanson has a very good 1.5 dWAR as well. The issueless that he might just be a “contract year mirage“. He has a career .256/.323/.416 batting line and has a .370 BABIP this season implying that he’s overachieving. I suspect we‘re not paying him the money that he will likely seek anyway.
Xander Bogaerts is another option. Bogaerts is currently batting .306/.374/.451 with an alarmingly low 11 home runs in 123 games and 457 AB. Bogaerts also has a 0.9 dWAR. Bogaerts’s defense has been an issue for years now and might only get worse as time goes on. Bogaerts will also likely demand a contract that we’re not going to give him for good reason. I question his defense going forward and the alarming power decline.
Carlos Correa is yet another potential upgrade over Miguel Rojas for the Miami Marlins. Correa is batting .274/.354/.434 with 3.6 WAR and a solid but unspectacular 0.9 WAR. Correa can opt-out of his contract with the Minnesota Twins, but may be too expensive and not worth the contract due to his incostistency. If he bounces back to his last year‘s form with a 2.9 dWAR he may be worth it however. I suspect that he waits a year to opt-out (he can opt-out after next season too), as he won’t beat his $35 million AAV this year.
Trea Turner has been mentioned as an ideal candidate in free agency, but I will write more in-depth as to why he’s not a good option for the Miami Marlins. We won’t and shouldn’t sign him. He’s too injury-prone and old for us while commanding a contract that he won’t end up being worth.
The Miami Marlins might end up sticking with Miguel Rojas at SS and I‘m relatively fine with it. I think that it’s fine as long as we improve our hitting elsewhere and Rojas continues playing excellent defense.