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2013 Miami Marlins: Replacing the injured with prospects

With Jose Fernandez, Marcell Ozuna and now Derek Dietrich the Marlins have begun the habit of replacing DL time with prospect service time.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

If the 2013 Miami Marlins season were not already determined to be the outcome of a fire sale, the real story of the 2013 Miami Marlins season would be injuries.

Injuries to Henderson Alverez, Nathan Eovaldi, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Donovan Solano, Chris Valaika, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis, Alfredo Silvario and Joe Mahoney left the Marlins with few ways to even fill the 25-man roster. In the minors sat quite a few top 100 prospects and the future of the Miami Marlins. Players like Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich had recent success in the minors and all figured to have a large role to play with the Miami Marlins as they rebuild from their firesale that took place before the 2013 season.

Many had assumed the Marlins would simply punt the 2013 season. They would have a lousy major league team in 2013, but the kicker was that the Marlins would have one of the best farm systems and the Marlins would have a relatively quick turn around. They were not the Houston Astros of the late 2000's, who had one of the worst major league teams and one of the worst farm systems and as of 2013 are still in the rebuilding process with what may be the worst current major league team.

The Marlins were not that, they still are not that because of their top farm system. What the Marlins are still, however, is impatient. Going in to 2013, the Marlins were going to have poor attendance and were going to have a bad team with very little current or future talent inhabiting the 25-man roster. Then the Marlins had their plague of injures and for whatever reason this has sped up the Marlins timetable for contention.

The fact that we even see Jose Fernandez, Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna playing in Miami in May of 2013 tells us that the Marlins have sped things up. By bringing up these players now, the Marlins have made the 2013 season more interesting for sure. They also made the 2013 team more talented. What they have not done is considered the future.

Right now the Marlins figure to have a losing season in 2013 and probably a losing season in 2014, but after that things could turn for the best. The Marlins will experience an influx of young talent that will be better than the Juan Pierres or Placido Polancos currently on the roster. Basically, wins for the Marlins will become more valuable as time passes. By promoting these players now the Marlins will have to pay more to keep them due to Super Two status and an earlier end to team control. The Marlins have essentially valued cheap production today over cheap production in 2016 and any sort of production in 2019.

Yes, that is a long time away and many things will change between now and then, but service time remains a constant factor. The Marlins have let recent injuries and poor performance hurry their plans. They have valued the short-term over the long-term at a time where the short-term is worth a pathetically small amount. The best possible outcome over the short-term for the Marlins would be Derek Dietrich, Marcell Ozuna and Jose Fernandez establishing themselves as major league contributors and the Marlins winning a few more games while still maintaining a losing record in 2013. Which is hardly worth shortening the window to win for the Marlins in the latter half of the decade.