How can the Miami Marlins be annual playoff contenders like the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals? How can The Fish stop constantly having losing seasons and angering the fanbase with bad signings? It’s actually not that difficult, Bruce Sherman just needs to spend more mo ey on the right things. Let’s look at it more closely however…
The Miami Marlins need to follow a blueprint set by teams that are annually in the playoffs.
According to this list, the Miami Marlins are #16 out of the 30 MLB teams at discovering international prospects and signing them to the Minors. Considering the amount of Latin American prospects and how Miami has been called “the gateway to Latin America”, it’s pretty bizarre. Why aren’t we in the top five? It’s clear that scouting is doing something wrong, and there’s a need for changes to be made. The obvious is of course to try and hire employees from winning teams. There’s a reason teams are raising the Tampa Bay Rays front office.
The key for the Miami Marlins to be annual contenders is of course the farm system. Our farm has actually dropped somewhat, which is a pretty tough situation. We clearly need to make sure that our next draft picks and international signings are worth it. This also means avoiding bad trades that don’t move the proverbial needle. The farm system is how teams build contenders and currentcy to bring in key players (at the right cost).
Free agency is another area that the Miami Marlins need to focus on. There is no excuse for Bruce Sherman and Kim Ng not to be in on the top free agents. We have the money and even Jeffrey Loria did it back in 2011. He likely only did it to send a message since he got a new ballpark, but the fact is that it’s “the will go spend” not “ability” that prevents any big signings. Using free agency to fill out holes on the team at a reasonable price (“reasonable” not “cheap”) is another key to success.
The Miami Marlins need to get smarter and start utilizing the above strategies. There is no excuse not to win regardless of finances. It’s about doing the basic things right.