Happy New Year to all readers. Here's wishing I am writing about our third World Series Championship this same time next year. Go Miami Marlins!
-The Bleacher Report has an interesting take on Yoenis Cespedes and his final destination. This is one of the last real prizes of this year's free agent class. Of course, the Cuban born outfielder is still not technically a free agent. But its good to know it may be down to just two teams bidding for his services: the Marlins and the New York Yankees.
Aside for the need for an everyday center fielder, the Marlins can do no wrong by adding Cespedes (Bonifacio is currently slated to start in center). The local Hispanic community would surely like to see one of their own play here. Plus, so much about what the Marlins have done this off-season is promote a door to the international community. And no better place for that than here in the Magic City.
There is one more bonus to adding a player of this magnitude aside from the obvious. At a time the Marlins are becoming more and more relevant at the national level, I can see the media in New York writing on how the decline of the Yankees is now official because the Marlins were able to beat them in free agency by acquiring Cespedes. However, the rest of the country will see it another way. They will continue to praise the Marlins on how they are able to reel in big time players. This leads to a great segway into Spring Training: Marlins are serious about winning, and are eager to prove it on the field with all their great talent. When have we been able to say that the last 8 years?
-Mike Stanton or Cam Newton? How about both! Stanton will be appearing in a future ESPN the magazine issue showcasing the top talent of tomorrow. Respectively in baseball, big Mike beat out Yu Darvish and Bryce Harper. That's great company. Even better company are the players that have been showcased in prior years for this: Alex Rodriguez and Buster Posey. Whatever your take is on young players and their 'potential,' Mike should have plenty of RBI opportunities this season with the speedsters at the top of the Marlins line up.
Fellow readers, is 140 RBIs out of the realm of possibility for this youngster in 2012?
-In other Marlins news, what was overlooked in the recent Frisaro article on Greg Dobbs, was when he mentions much more production out of third base next year when Hanley Ramirez moves there. Here's what I think. Third base should be great no doubt (regardless if its Hanley or Bonifacio). But the hot corner is not an easy position. And if Hanley is going to be unhappy, and playing over at third, the Marlins might be better off moving him now. Yes you need serious production out of that position, but you also need great defense too. Its not an easy position to adjust to for anyone. Let alone an unhappy customer.
-SB Nation's National Baseball Editor, Rob Neyer, writes about Javier Vazquez this week. With the Boston Red Sox acquiring a closer yesterday (I will mention more about this below), this will open the door for them to go after a starting pitcher. Again, if Vazquez is willing to pitch this season, the Marlins need to re-sign him now. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Angels could all use his pitching. Hopefully Vazquez does not retire, and hopefully the Marlins can round out their rotation with this veteran (sorry Volstad).
Around the League
-The Red Sox have acquired Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A's for Josh Reddick and two minor leaguers. Also going to Boston is Ryan Sweeney. Amazing Francisco Cordero and Ryan Madson are still available via trade or free agency. These are healthy, proven closers (Bailey is not 100% healthy right now).
-David Wright to the Phillies for prospects? Probably won't happen. But its amazing how much his game has diminished in recent years. Hanley can produce at a much better clip moving forward for the Fish because of all the talent around him. Wright might play better baseball this season, but the Mets are still not going to win much.
At Fish Stripes
-If the Red Sox are going to get Hanley, they no longer have Josh Reddick to offer after yesterday's trade with the A's. I do like Ranaudo and his potential though. Oh well.
-In Rotational Riffraff (I like it!), Michael Jong reviews all of the starting pitchers the Marlins used last year to try and replace Josh Johnson while he was out with injury (how did that turn out?). It's why I think you can never have enough starting pitching. It only takes one significant injury along the starting rotation to expose your entire minor league pitching depth (or lack thereof).