This was inevitable considering that every 2018 MLB postseason team included former Miami Marlins. Familiar faces had an especially significant presence on the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox, who clinched the title on Sunday night.
Marlins connection: player from 2012-2014 (369.0 IP, 4.10 ERA, 264 K in 63 G)
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi joined the Sox in a midseason trade. He contributed 22 1⁄3 innings to their October run, second only to David Price. The 28-year-old carved up deep lineups in each round (1.61 ERA, 0.81 WHIP), positioning himself for a robust multi-year deal in free agency.
Marlins connection: player from 2006-2012 (.300/.374/.499, 148 HR, 230 SB in 943 G)
Where’s the lie?
Hanley 100%. If he wasn't so bad in April/May, Red Sox never make the move to get Steve Pearce. https://t.co/RWInmkOe1H— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) October 29, 2018
Hanley Ramírez was among the highest-paid members of the Red Sox roster despite producing at approximately replacement level. With the club dominating in April and May but Hanley barely hitting his own weight (.254/.313/.395 through 44 games), Boston made the somewhat surprising decision to cut him. Ramírez did not sign with anybody else as a free agent.
His departure opened up right-handed first baseman/DH playing time for Steve Pearce, who emerged as a critical bat for the Sox. Ramirez will get a ring nonetheless.
Marlins connection: Double-A Jacksonville manager (2011-2014), assistant hitting coordinator (2015)
Couldn’t have happened to a better guy! The Miami native Andy Barkett was popular in the Marlins organization, not to mention extremely effective at getting the most out of his players.
In Barkett’s first year as Red Sox assistant hitting coach, established regulars Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts experienced their best offensive seasons. The team collectively led Major League Baseball in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs scored. That carried over into October, where they averaged 6.0 runs per game.
Marlins connection: general manager from 1991-2001
For the first time since 1997, Dave Dombrowski is on top of the world. His Tigers/Red Sox rosters made the postseason six times in the previous seven years—all six berths as division winners—before this group finally got over the hump.
By any measure, the 2018 Red Sox belong in the conversation with the best teams of all time. Dombrowski inherited an athletic young core and complemented it with blockbuster trades (Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel) and massive free-agent signings (David Price, J.D. Martinez). His bosses will (happily) wind up paying more than a quarter billion dollars for a star-studded group that blew past the luxury-tax threshold to assemble.
The win-now aggressiveness has thinned out the farm system, but the Red Sox are poised to seriously contend for at least one more year.
On the losing end of the Fall Classic, former Marlins on the Dodgers really disappointed.
Austin Barnes and Kiké Hernandez combined to go 2-for-26 in the “gentleman’s sweep” with a .077/.111/.192 slash line. The lone extra-base hit—Kiké’s two-run home run—came in garbage time of Game 4. Right-hander Tom Koehler was unavailable for the entirety of 2018 with shoulder issues.