GM for the Day: Flor…uh…Miami Marlins

Sweet new stadium and one ugly-ass logo, welcome the new and “improved” Marlins.  After gaining ownership in 2002, the Marlins have done some crazy stuff with their payroll.  Look at their payroll and payroll ranking since Jeff Loria became owner in 2002:

2002: $ 41,979,917 – 25th

2003: $ 45,050,000 – 25th

2004: $ 42,143,042 – 25th

2005: $ 60,408,834 – 19th

2006: $ 14,998,500 – 30th

2007: $ 30,507,000 – 29th

2008: $ 21,811,500 – 30th

2009: $ 36,834,000 – 30th

2010: $ 47,429,719 – 26th

2011: $ 57,695,000 – 24th

Keep in mind that in 2006, when the payroll was under $15 million, the Marlins received $31 million in revenue sharing…POCKETING $16 million while Loria was demanding a new stadium to help draw fans, while he wasn’t giving the fans a team worth seeing AND still making money.  Shocking.  The new stadium…publicly funded.  Nice job, Loria.

Now, the Marlins are said to be talking to Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols and Mark Buehrle.  Maybe they saved up that money for this offseason!?  The Marlins have a decent first baseman in Gaby Sanchez, who hasn’t been great but he is serviceable (2nd in NL in Fielding % with .786 career OPS), and an All Star shortstop in Hanley Ramirez, who had a miserable 2011 season, but, when healthy, is a top 10 position player in baseball.  They are going after a first baseman and a shortstop in Pujols and Reyes.  The rumored Reyes signing would allow the Marlins to move Ramirez to third, where Matt Dominguez, the team’s top prospect going into last season and currently ranked #4 by Baseball America (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2012/2612559.html), is supposed to eventually take over.  The team needs pop and more pitching.  Here is what I would do:

You want to make a big splash, Marlins? (Pun intended)  New stadium, apparently you have money to spend now…Offer the Mets Christian Yelich (#1 prospect, first baseman/outfielder), Matt Dominguez (your “future third baseman) and Chad James (LHP prospect) for David Wright.  I’m giving up excellent prospects because the Mets want to get rid of some payroll, which they are doing here, AND they’re helping out by giving us $10 million of the $30+ million they owe to Wright.  Extend Wright, who is due $15 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013, for another five years and $85 million, giving him basically a seven-year, $116 million deal for your team.  Extend Hanley Ramirez, who has three years and $46.5 million on his deal, for two more seasons at $16 million.  He’s 27 and can move to the outfield and produce if he can’t stay at short.  You just upgraded your team without blocking and de-valuing the players you already have.  Now, you have an Opening Day lineup of:

C: John Buck

1B: Gaby Sanchez

2B: Omar Infante

3B: David Wright

SS: Hanley Ramirez

LF: Logan Morrison

CF: Bryan Peterson

RF: Mike Stanton

Buck is fine at catcher, Infante is also serviceable and can play multiple positions (in case of an injury), but we’ll need a center fielder.  You need a good defensive player since Morrison is a converted outfielder (from first base) and Mike Stanton is a big human being in right.  Coco Crisp has been around the league and still plays great defense.  Though he’ll be 32-years-old for all of the 2012 season, I would take a chance on him as a leadoff hitter and stopgap.

At pitcher, you need an arm.  Mark Buehrle would be a great signing.  His reliable arm is something the Marlins haven’t had and he could teach the younger guys how to pitch instead of just throwing.  Their bullpen is a mess if they don’t keep Juan Carlos Oviedo AKA Leo Nunez at closer.  They had depth in the ‘pen last year and good young arms that continue to come up to help out there.  Bullpens are not something that I think too much about, as many teams have given the job to young guys in recent years with success (see http://thebaseballhaven.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/contractual-nightmares-of-closers-over/).

So, trade for Wright, sign Buehrle and Crisp and have this as your 25-man roster:

2 Catchers: John Buck and Brett Hayes

1B: Gaby Sanchez

2B: Omar Infante

3B: David Wright

SS: Hanley Ramirez

LF: Logan Morrison

CF: Coco Crisp

RF: Mike Stanton

Bench: Scott Cousins (OF), Emilio Bonifacio (super-utility), Donnie Murphy (INF), Bryan Peterson (OF)

Five Starting Pitchers: Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, and Wade LeBlanc

Seven Bullpen Arms: Juan Ovieda, Edward Mujica, Michael Dunn, Ryan Webb, Randy Choate, Burke Badenhop, and Steve Cishek.

This roster may or may not be enough to get the Marlins past the Phillies in the NL East.  They’ll have talent but not a whole lot of depth.  By making a trade that included a potential long-term centerfielder in Yelich, they’d be making a run to the top now.  They could see revenue from their new stadium and success, which, in turn, will allow for future spending to help with their depth and rotation, much like the Phillies have done in recent years with increased payroll through success and revenue.

 

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3 Comments

Wow, I absolutely love your blog, and it is filled with such great posts! I also did a post on the Miami Marlins and what they should do in 2012, but I love your David Wright idea and agree with the Buehrle signing.
Keep up the good work!
The Manoman
http://manoman.mlblogs.com

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Pingback: GM for the Day: New York Mets « The Baseball Haven

Though I like your line-up, you are missing the point. Loria, is not a GM, he is a businessman – and he recognizes Pulojos and Reyes are the Michael Jordan and Mohommad Ali of latin america right now… changing the team to Miami, the logo to one more appealing to the latin american culture and building a stadium in the only spanish speaking city in america… he is looking to draw a huge audience and raise ticket prices… think when Seattle attacked the Japanese market…

Even though this line-up makes sense, he would never do it.

(and Dominquez will be a bust, as will Ike Davis)

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