Peter Bendix on the Winter Meetings
The Winter Meetings were unusually quiet due to the “Shohei Delay” as donned by MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal. Bendix said the market was moving a little more slowly than usual. However, he wants to be ready once it speeds up. Teams are waiting to see where high-value player Shoei Ohtani will sign before making a trade. The Marlins and the rest of the MLB were quiet for this year’s meetings in Nashville. In recent interviews, Bendix has had the same response when fielding questions about the team's needs and performance: “I don’t know, I have to learn more about the team.”
Bendix stated that the Marlins currently have a talented team with a plethora of pitching prospects. Inundated with information in his first month, Bendix made another thing clear. He wanted to formulate his own opinion about the team’s performance. It’s hard to tell a team’s season needs before watching them perform on the field. He has been studying games from last year and looking at prospects.
Using the coaching staff and Bendix knowledge of several aspects of the game, they plan to capitalize on a player’s strength. Early in the 2023 season, Bendix did just that with outfield slugger Yandy Diaz. Bendix realized Diaz had a great eye, great contact, and good power. Before the 2023 season, Diaz had struck out 251 times and walked 231 in 1,780 plate appearances while adding 231 walks. Bendix worked with the coaching staff and even brought in some string to show the desired launch angle that worked with his swing. Diaz focused on lifting the ball a little more, with his launch angle averaging 5.7. He hit the ball harder with an average exit velocity of 103.4 mph and a groundball exit velocity of 95.3 mph.
I don’t expect Marlins to trade for anyone, at least before the start of the season. Miami might have a couple of free-agent signings. Based on recent interviews, Bendix will take the time needed to learn about the Marlins and address the needs of the team midseason. I expect Jacob Amaya, Vidal Bruján, and Xavier Edwards to compete for the backup role at shortstop should they sign a veteran shortstop.
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