The Marlins came into the winter break with clear-cut objectives: obtain talented starting pitching, acquire a first baseman to complement Justin Bour, and sign more core players to extensions. The Winter Meetings have come and gone, it is the middle of December, and the Marlins have achieved none of their goals. This does not bode well for next season.
First and foremost, the team has failed to sign or obtain one starting pitcher, and they arguably need two. Realistically, the Fish were never in the running for David Price, Zack Greinke, or Johnny Cueto, but lower level guys like John Lackey are now going off the board too. The Marlins are running out of time to improve the rotation, and with talk that Jose Fernandez may be traded away, things are beginning to look really bleak for the pitching corps in 2016.
I previously wrote about how much sense a Kenta Maeda signing would make, and that is still a possibility. However, the organization is still evaluating the roster to assess their needs, and Maeda won't be available for much longer. Maeda would cost the Marlins quite a bit of money, but so will any other pitcher at the minute, and the Japanese star has an impressive track record.
There hasn't been any word of the Marlins looking for a first baseman, so that's another unmet objective. In fact, all the Marlins made headlines for at the Winter Meetings was fielding calls on Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna, who has a lot of upside but has fallen out of favor with Jeffrey Loria. While Justin Bour may have shown enough promise in 2015 to warrant starting everyday in 2016, additional depth is favorable.
When it comes to signing core players to extensions, the team is making progress, especially with Dee Gordon. These negotiations, while important, could be left till later in the off-season, though, as setting the roster for the upcoming season is more important at this time. The front office has undergone a lot of changes since the end of the season, and it will take time for them to settle in and adjust to life in Miami. But it will take a lot longer for them to settle in if the ownership team is putting pressure on them for poor on-field performances, due to a lack of talent on the field.
The Marlins already had enough ground to make up in the NL East when the off-season began, and they still haven't made the team better after two months. Procrastination is not a good method for success (believe me, I'm in college). It is not crunch time just yet, but the organization needs to do something to show the city of Miami that they intend on winning in 2016. Yes, this team has potential, but the stars would have to align for these Fish to make the playoffs in 2016. More talent needs to be integrated into this Marlins lineup, and it needs to happen fast.