NL East still out of reach?
In 2020, the Marlins were closer than ever to an NL East division title, remaining within reach of the Braves entering their final road trip of the season. Though any talk of truly closing the talent gap with those perennial contenders proved to be premature when they swept the Fish out of the NLDS.
The hiring of Kim Ng as general manager has been deservedly celebrated. That being said, during the month-and-a-half since that series ended, the Marlins haven’t taken any steps to directly boost their 2021 chances, while the Braves are being more active than anybody. On the heels of signing Drew Smyly for $11 million, they announced a one-year deal with Charlie Morton Tuesday morning for $15 million.
Morton actually broke into the majors with Atlanta in 2008 before journeying to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Houston and most recently Tampa Bay. He has started against the Marlins 13 times overall, but only once since revitalizing his career a half-decade ago.
The Braves inked veteran left-hander Cole Hamels under similar circumstances a year ago, but got no production from him due to injuries. Even a declining Morton would be valuable considering the club’s recent issues with rotation depth.
- Marlins pitchers Pablo López and Daniel Castano and CEO Derek Jeter spent their Monday afternoon helping out at the 12th annual Home Plate Meals Thanksgiving Distribution.
- I spent my Monday evening recording a long episode of The Offishial Show with Alex Carver and Daniel De Vivo. Listen and tell us who you think won the Miami Marlins Dream Draft!
- Swings and Mishes interviewed Kim Ng about landing and negotiating the contract for her dream job, plus the keys to positioning the Marlins for long-term success.
- The Rays are open to discussing trades involving former AL Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. Last month, I explained why the Marlins should be in pursuit.
- Former third-round draft pick Peyton Burdick reportedly “stood out” on the field during last month’s Florida Instructional League games. Evaluators tell Baseball America that they’re increasingly confident in him developing into an everyday player at the major league level.
- MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro caught up with World Series-winning manager Jack McKeon on McKeon’s 90th birthday.
- Frisaro mentions Brad Hand and Marcell Ozuna as his top two free agent targets this offseason (he covered both players throughout their years with the Marlins).