Have fun with this hypothetical path. Miami this off season trades away a bunch of relievers and a starting pitcher, for two starting pitchers, and an elite closer. Great move. Especially considering the bullpen was a strength last season. The team is still good there.
Now look at the position players. Miami gave up nothing, and got back last season's batting champion, an above average defensive outfielder (Rowand), and potentially a five-tool Cuban center-fielder. I know there are a dozen teams that have contracted the agent for Yoennis Cespedes now that he is eligible for free agency. But all along we have read how the Marlins and this 'great unknown' are meant for each other.
Again, further notes on how great this offseason has been to the Marlins. Cespedes recently said the Cubs have been the most aggressive suitor for his services. And mentions the Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers, and Indians as the teams with "most interest." Forgive me if I see this as a slam dunk. The Tigers are probably out now that they got Prince Fielder. The Orioles and the White Sox have more holes than swiss cheese. The Indians might get in if Cespedes admits he's never liked the beach and instead likes cold weather six months out of the year. And as for those Cubs... Theo Epstein is savvy, but the Cubs still have a very expensive payroll with players nobody wants. So adding is not the problem for the Cubs. Its moving pieces out.
Going back to that hypothetical. Its not about what team had the best off season. For obvious reasons many teams had a great off season (Angels, Tigers, Rangers, etc.). But how wonderful for the hometown Fish they gave up very little, and got back a much improved roster.
- If Cespedes does not sign with the Marlins, Bonifacio will do fine out in center. However, if Chris Coghlan is ever going to make an impression, he may want to do it now. Its about time he gets it together and returns to the field. His trade value is so low right now, I don't think teams remember he is a former rookie of the year.
- Check out this review on Marlins prospect Christian Yelich. He is predicted to be Juan Pierre (he can beat out the ground ball) meshed into Josh Hamilton type (extra base hits galore). Looking forward to seeing him up with the big league club someday soon.
- Tickets for two exhibition games at the new stadium go on sale this Friday. The team is selling only a few seats to each game since the competition are college teams. This will be your only chance this season to remember what it was like to experience a game at Sun Life Stadium (stadium half empty).
- Want to see where Omar Infante stacks up when compared to the other starting second basemen of the NL East. See what Marlin Maniac put together.
- The Marlins signed Austin Kearns to a minor league deal on Tuesday. Just in case they need an outfielder who can hit left-handed pitching.
Around the League
- Red Sox need pitching. And they prefer Edwin Jackson to Roy Oswalt. These two players are the last difference making free agents left on the board.
-Tim Lincecum signed a new two-year deal with the Giants. Great move considering the best is yet to come for this right hander.
- Tony LaRussa will coach the NL All-Stars this summer. I have no objections. He earned the right to do so.
At Fish Stripes
- New poll question this week located below. How many Marlins games will you go to this season?
- Picture of the new home run celebration in Marlins Park can be seen here. Man are the Marlins cool or what!