What if... They don't do anything?

In my previous post, there was a small paragraph at the end called "Marlins being Marlins" referring to the FO tending to acquire cheap, controllable players instead of spending on big-ticket free agents. Well, there should a category right below that in where Kim Ng, Jeter and co. may decide not to move a finger this winter and believe in the process.

What if this actually happens? Most of us will be disappointed, and the official Marlins Media will praise the development of the young core, the opportunity to mature and the famous we are almost there, but not just yet. Well, having in mind that Miami still is a small Baseball market and even with last year's financial agreements, nobody is sure Sherman will open the wallet, this idea doesn't seem like the craziest of all.

So here I am losing some hair trying to figure out what can we expect if this is the case. At let me get started with the easy half: Pitching. There are 3 fixed arms in the rotation (Sandy, Trevor and Pablo) with at least 6 others with a good case for the last 2 spots: Hernández, Luzardo, Thompson, Poteet, Cabrera and even Sixto, if healthy. The bullpen is another story, with very few spots secured as of today. However, one can mention Bass, Bender, Bleier, Floro, Okert, and maybe Pop having the edge for securing a spot next year; leaving three available slots for Holloway, Thompson, Poteet, Sixto, and even Guzmán. I also think Neidert, Garrett, Eveld and Castano have not much else to do in Jacksonville, and the organization must give them a chance to crack the MLB roster in Spring Training, That is a total of 20 arms, and to me, 12-15 of them are reliable to compete at the big level. Forecast is not that bad in the mound.

Unfortunately, it is a completely different story when it comes to position players. Rojas, Jazz, Agui, BA and Jesús have all secured a spot in the roster next season, if no injuries or trades. DLC has it almost secured, but an ugly SP might put it in Jeopardy. The catcher is up for grabs, but I see Henry and Fortes having a better chance than Jackson. Both Alfaro and León must be gone. That is 8 players, then the battle for the last starting OF turns into Brinson, Miller and Cooper. Sierra and Harrison should be gone. Encarnación can get a chance in SP and make a case, but it's a long shot. Corey Bird can also join the SP parade and get a closer look. All in all, an OF with Sánchez, DLC and a Miller/Brinson platoon won't be the worst in the National League, but we should expect below-average numbers combined.

Now the bench. The 4th OF and the second C were explained above. That leaves only 3 spots left. We still don't know what is going on with his injury, but Berti is still the utility man. If he is seriously injured, then the opportunity arises for Bryson Brigman and Eddy Álvarez, with the former deserving an extended ST look as a minimum. Cooper can still play some horrible OF, but he contributes when healthy. Isán should be gone and Devers back to minors.

That leaves the last spot to Lewin Díaz, but this is something not easy to figure out if no universal DH is implemented next year. I think it is smart that the Marlins send Lewin to the DR and play in the winter league exclusively as an OF. Worst-case scenario (no universal DH), with a passable glove in LF, Lewin can platoon with Cooper and still be a power threat out of the bench.

Summarizing, this is the 26-man roster I would carry for next season if no FAs are signed and no universal DH is implemented:

Pitchers (13): Álcantara, Rogers, López, Luzardo, Thompson, Hernández, Bass, Bender, Bleier, Floro, Okert, Pop, Holloway and Sixto... With Cabrera, Poteet, Neidert and Castano next in line.

Position Players (8): Fortes, Aguilar, Chisholm, Anderson, Rojas, De La Cruz, Miller and Sánchez.

Bench (5): Henry, Cooper, Berti, Brinson and Lewin Díaz.

Hey, this team might win a couple more games than the one he had this year, counting on slight progressions of Jazz, Sánchez, DLC, Lewin and Miller (compared to Brinson, of course). Do not expect more than 75 wins, in any case. Also, this is actually not the worst scenario for next season... Just imagine trading away the starting pitching + Aguilar + some others... Rebuilding from scratch in the middle of a rebuild.