The Farm is key for the Miami Marlins
By Neil Raymond
What do the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Guardians have in common? They have elite farm systems year after year, and in the case of the two former, they're annually contending and making the playoffs. The perfect scenario for the Miami Marlins is to have an annually contending team as well. Unfortunately, I see some fans call for the team to sell-off the farm for Major League help. This would be absolutely devastating for The Fish. Let's take a look at why...
The Miami Marlins will not be able to contend without a good farm system.
The foundation of an annually competitive team is a strong farm system. Once a team has that, then and only then can SOME prospects be traded for Major League upgrades. Free agency is there to supplement the core built through the farm. It doesn't even always move the needle. Let me make this clear: the Miami Marlins need to spend in free agency. Building a strong farm does NOT mean justifying not spending in free agency. It does however help us deal with cheap ownership groups.
The Fish currently have the 18'th ranked farm system in the Majors. That's bad. If Kim Ng starts trading from it to improve the Major League roster, we'll end up with one of the worst farm systems in the game. How is that good? I've seen the argument that since the team hasn't developed good hitters, that the farm is basically "worthless" and so trading from it is the best option. This is very flawed thinking.
If the farm system doesn't produce enough good players, HIRE BETTER PERSONNEL. That's the only right solution for this problem. Decimating the farm is not a solution, it's a way to make the team worse. No successful team is built entirely through free agency and no successful team these days has an annually terrible farm. Bruce Sherman needs to invest in better personnel, that can develop better hitting.
The Miami Marlins will never be a consistently successful franchise without a good farm system. I can't say that enough. If the farm system isn't getting the job done, then we need people who will. Either way, decimating it is never the answer.