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Marlins baseball in September and Beyond

“Green Shoots”: The future looks promising for the organization.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
Jose Urena
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Being a Miami Marlins fan right now feels a little bit like Ebenezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens’ 1834 classic “A Christmas Story”.

In the novel, as we all know, Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future and glimpses a view of what his life could be like down the road. Unlike Ebenezer, whose potential future was dismal at best without a severe attitude adjustment, the Marlins future is full of possibilities.

We’re now getting a look at what the future could be for the Marlins and it’s pretty interesting and filled with lots of potential. I would argue this window into the future started roughly a month ago and accelerated August 11 with the official announcement of the pending sale of the team to the Jeter/Sherman group.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but since the announcement that Jeffrey Loria was finally departing, the Marlins have played 20 games and are 13-7. For the month of August, the team is 17-12, ranked 6th in hitting in the the NL at .258 and 5th in home runs with 39 (Stanton has 18 of those). Even the Marlins much-maligned pitching has shown some small signs of life in August with a team ERA of 4.55, vs. 5.04 in July.

I realize the last four games of August have not been pretty, but the team overall is playing with a renewed enthusiasm. They currently sit six games back in the wild card race, while Sportline still gives the Marlins a 20 percent chance to grab that final wild card spot.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Miami Marlins
Justin Bour
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Looking out into next year and beyond, the Marlins have team control for many of their key position player pieces.

Stanton is signed through 2028 but can opt out of his deal anytime after 2020. He also gets a significant raise next year to $25 million. Christian Yelich is signed through 2022 and will make $7 million in 2018. Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto are under team control for two and three more years respectively. Justin Bour, who is on the DL, is locked up for another three years and is not a free agent until 2021. Finally, you have some talent in the farm system in players like infielder Brian Anderson banging on the door to join the Marlins this month.

On the pitching side of the team, which definitely could use some reinforcements, you still have some players the Marlins can count on in the future. Jose Urena and Dan Straily are very inexpensive and are not free agents until 2022 and 2021, respectively. On the farm, there is Dillon Peters carving up the opposition up in Double-A Jacksonville who will join the club Friday and looks ready to contribute right away.

So sit back and enjoy meaningful September baseball in Miami for the first time in a long time. Whether the team can close the gap or not this month, the Marlins are showing some moxie lately and giving the fan base a reason to be optimistic for the future. They have a blossoming group of young players under team control for 3 to 4 years and a possible MVP in Giancarlo Stanton to build around or even trade down the road for more talent in the future.