The Marlins aren’t going anywhere in 2021. It’s too late to salvage this season with only 25 games remaining. Instead, their front office needs to turns its focus toward what will be a pretty busy offseason. Right after the World Series, the clock will start ticking for Kim Ng and company to construct a more complementary roster with sufficient depth and high-end talent to be more competitive in the NL East.
There are three important questions for the Marlins to address before the 2022 regular season kicks off. Let’s take a look at them…
1) What to do with so much starting pitching?
While the Marlins organization has plenty of weaknesses, they are wealthy in terms of starting pitching depth. Their arsenal of arms includes an ace in Sandy Alcántara, another high-quality veteran in Pablo López, a potential ace in Trevor Rogers, some guys to experiment with, a reclamation project in Jesús Luzardo, and youngsters such as Edward Cabrera, Sixto Sánchez, and highly-touted prospect Max Meyer.
The Marlins arguably have the most promising core of young starters in baseball. On the other hand, they lack the necessary hitting to win on a consistent basis.
What can they do with their pitching in order to improve in that area? Some big, game-changing TRADES.
They need to walk the fine line between being aggressive and responsible when determining which of these pitchers are worth building around and who’s expendable. Nothing would shock me at this point, especially after word got out that the Marlins nearly dealt Meyer to the Angels for outfield prospect Brandon Marsh.
2) Is it time to spend big and do they have the money?
Another thing the Marlins have to do is invest big in a smart way to satisfactorily cover their flaws. On paper, they are in a strong position with new local television and stadium naming rights deal taking effect and very few existing payroll commitments. Pending free agent stars such as Kris Bryant, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story will be available.
If the Marlins want their fans to believe in their rebuilding process and take the most direct path to success, they need to take action as soon as possible. Even without shopping in the most expensive aisle in the free agent market, two or three mid-level offensive signings could be the key to assembling a pretty good lineup.
3) Which of their internal outfield options still have a chance?
The Marlins have an outfield that is simultaneously unproven and overcrowded. Bryan De La Cruz and Jesús Sánchez have made themselves top priorities with their performances. But they are surrounded by others who have clear limitations at the plate—like Monte Harrison, Lewis Brinson and Magneuris Sierra—and those who haven’t even tasted the big leagues yet (JJ Bleday, Peyton Burdick, Griffin Conine, etc.).
After parting ways with Starling Marté, the Marlins need an established outfielder that can provide a productive presence on a daily basis. They shouldn’t hold back from exploring all possibilities, from trying to reunite with Marté, to scooping up Michael Conforto from the rival Mets, to inquiring about comparable players who are potentially available via trade.