Earlier this month, chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman announced the hiring of the president of baseball operations, Peter Bendix. Bendix becomes the third president of baseball operations in franchise history.
Bendix has a more complicated role than most incoming presidents of baseball ops. Typically, a new hire comes to an organization after a down year or a season of missed opportunities. For Bendix, this isn’t the case. The Marlins had an uptick year after finishing the season with a winning record and clinched a spot in the postseason. Furthermore, first-year manager Skip Schumacher was named National League Manager of the Year, voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. All eyes are on Bendix, who spent the last 14 years with the Tampa Bay Rays. The short-term goal for him is to try to make the playoffs again in 2024.
A dynamic shift is expected in the Miami Marlins' baseball operations department with Peter Bendix's appointment as the new operations president. Despite the team's recent success, Bendix faces unique challenges in maintaining momentum. Bendix hiring didn't come as a surprise to most around Major League Baseball. The events leading up to his hiring did not favor a smooth transition for the incoming president of baseball ops. He has mentioned before he believes one of his strong suits is being a great communicator. "I think I'm able to help people understand scary concepts in a non-scary way. I hope that I am somebody who empowers those who work with me to feel like they can really be their best."
Sherman already commented about his goals of being sustainable for the next couple of years. “I want to be in the playoffs every year. It's tough, as you know, but I'll take two out of the last four years. It's a pretty good average," added Sherman.
Bendix has been a significant supporter of sabermetrics from his college years at Tufts. He took a sabermetrics course at Tufts and even attended a SABR conference in Toronto to present some research. He eventually created a baseball analysis club at Tufts. He is also an aficionado for pitching. His research project on Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone opened the door to his Major League Baseball career.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a comparable market to Miami and have a similar payroll. Bendix has had success with the Rays, making eight trips to the postseason in his 14-year tenure. The eyes will be on him to see how he can work with Skip Schumaker and how he looks to replace Jorge Soler and add depth to the starting rotation and the lineup. A retooling year may be in the works this season, as Bendix will likely take a holistic approach to building a roster.
Coming off a successful season, Bendix and the Marlins face hurdles for the 2024 season as they try to address the absence of key players lost in the offseason. One of the opportunities is to start building around the infield core of Bell, Burger, and Arraez. On top of that, the Marlins are missing their top arm in Sandy Alcantara, who is out for the 2024 season with Tommy John.
Furthermore, the Marlins haven’t had the best draft classes in recent years, with only one prospect - No. 55 RHP Noble Meyer - being named in MLB’s Top 100 Prospect List. With the MLB Draft being eight months away, Miami finds themselves searching for impactful draft picks this year.
Sherman mentioned he wanted to hire a president of baseball operations because of the complexity of the job past the 40-man roster. ‘If you don't get international signings right, if you don't get the amateur Draft right, if you don't get player development, if you don't get analytics right ... it is a complex job."
I believe we will see a different lineup with the Marlins next year. Look for Arraez, Burger, Berti, and Bell to round up the top four and Del La Cruz and Chisholm Jr. to fill in the bottom third of the order.
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