Signing Ichiro Suzuki may be the last major move the Miami Marlins make this offseason. But according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Marlins had the fifth best offseason and for the first time in a few seasons could be deemed offseason "winners." The Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox, and Padres also were successful this winter, according to Heyman.
While the Marlins made several upgrades to the roster, the club won early by signing Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million in November. The Marlins internally wanted to extend Stanton, and while the organization feels he may choose to opt out after six seasons, the contract likely pushed the front office to put together a competitive roster.
Miami was active at the Winter Meetings, adding Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Michael Morse, and Andre Rienzo. Gordon brings a notable amount of speed to the Marlins' order, with Morse providing power behind Stanton in the lineup. Rienzo could win a bullpen job, with Latos expected to be the Marlins' third or fourth starter. Haren, too, could be slotted into the rotation, but he reportedly would still prefer a trade.
Shortly after introducing Morse, Gordon, and Latos at Marlins Park, Miami upgraded its infield by acquiring Martin Prado from the Yankees to play third base. The Marlins' roster, when compared with that of last season, has a significant amount of experience. The club also added clubhouse leaders, which will likely prove to be beneficial if the team is still in the hunt for a playoff spot late in the season.
Since the club signed Suzuki to be its fourth outfielder, the Marlins are likely done making large roster moves. Everything leading up to spring training should add depth, however in the past, some of Miami's non-roster invitees have thrived and earned roster spots.
While the Padres, White Sox, Red Sox, and Cubs were also active this offseason, the Marlins made a series of quiet moves that should prove to help the squad compete consistently moving forward. PECOTA believes the Marlins' moves will put them at 81-81, however the upgrades may help the Marlins end the season above five hundred.
Heyman is not alone in suggesting the Marlins had a top offseason, and rightfully so. The Marlins should improve in 2015 as a result of their offseason moves.