The holidays are finally here, and the Marlins' front office is going out of their way to make sure this is a winning Miami Marlins team in a new stadium in 2012. While most are in the holiday spirit, one Marlins player who is playing the role of the Grinch is shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Although nothing has been made official, no comments confirmed, it has been made known that Ramirez is upset about having to move to third base, and frustrated that he will no longer be the "Star Shortstop" of this team. Being realistic, this team needs Ramirez to be healthy and productive in order to be successful (just look at 2011; No Josh Johnson is bad enough, but subtracting two All-Stars creates a losing season). If he refuses to play third base, a trade will likely be imminent.
-Both the Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post released an article containing an interview with former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez. Rodriguez questions the Reyes signing, explaining that he doesn't blame Ramirez for being upset or disappointed with the front office. Rodriguez also stated he would not want to replace one All-Star with another (Reyes for Ramirez), but went on to say that he would have liked the team to sign Albert Pujols. Gaby Sanchez was an All-Star in 2011, wasn't he?
-Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explains that with the signing of Heath Bell, the bullpen is shaping up nicely. With Bell at the end, Edward Mujica could serve as the setup man and Randy Choate as the lefty specialist. Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek, and Ryan Webb as middle inning relievers, and possibly Wade LeBlanc or Alex Sanabia could serve as long relievers.
-The Sun-Sentinel also suggests that the Marlins will rely on Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio to score runs. A significant comparison to the 2003 top of the lineup featuring Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo was made. Getting on base is a key to their productivity.
-The Miami Herald wonders what the Marlins' next move is, after division rivals such as the Nationals have gone after and claimed successful major league pitchers. Hopefully, the next move includes signing another lefty for the rotation.
-A National League source told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that "anytime you hear a pitcher's name,
you can safely say the Marlins are in." The Fish may just be one starter away from being legitimate contenders and possibly a solid playoff team.
Around The League
-The Washington Nationals have acquired Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics for prospects. Multiple sources claim that if the Marlins wanted to acquire Gonzalez, Mike Stanton or Logan Morrison would have had to be involved.
-Some suggest if the Marlins sign or trade for another starting pitcher, he would most likely not be a soft tossing lefty (EX: Joe Saunders).
At Fish Stripes
-This morning, Michael Jong discussed the up-and-down season Javier Vazquez had with the Marlins in 2011. One of the more productive players, Vazquez had a rough first half but was "lights out" for the remainder of the season.
-The Heath Bell signing was loaded with controversy; however, it may prove to be a smart decision in the future. He is not young and has had some injury issues, but even when he is "not having a great year" according to his personal standards, he is still posting numbers at or slightly above the league average.