At a very inopportune time, the relationship between Derek Jeter and the Marlins ended, leaving tons of questions entering the 2022 regular season and beyond. Multiple reports and Jeter’s own words let us know that there was a conflict of some kind between the two parties, whether it be regarding baseball operations, business operations or both. Whatever the real reason, it’s concerning to see it result in a split between the franchise and its CEO with a full season still remaining on his contract.
Are the Marlins willing to do what it takes to meaningfully upgrade their roster now that the MLB lockout is behind us? The Fish added pieces like Avisaíl García, Jacob Stallings, and Joey Wendle earlier in the offseason, but objectively comparing them to National League postseason contenders, they shouldn’t be satisfied with their current collection of players.
In the immediate aftermath of Jeter leaving, New York Post’s Joel Sherman said that the Marlins’ willingness to spend another $10-$15 million for the 2022 season “evaporated during the lockout.” Jeter’s frustration with that contributed to the break-up, Sherman added.
Heard Jeter believed going into the lockout that there would be another $10M-$15M that the Marlins would spend on the 2022 roster, and that strategy evaporated during the lockout. It was central to Jeter’s decsion to leave as CEO.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 28, 2022
However, Miami Herald and MLB Network contributor Craig Mish reported that Marlins ownership is prepared to spend what it takes to win. He expounded on that reporting even more in the latest episode of his Swings and Mishes podcast.
“The notion that Derek Jeter left the Marlins because he was not happy with the financial commitment…it’s just a false narrative.” — @CraigMish— Swings and Mishes (@SwingsAndMishes) March 1, 2022
Mish says Jeter “wanted clarity” on his future before his departure from the Miami Marlins
Full episode: https://t.co/owSIz7xl2A pic.twitter.com/0N2gNuR4HP
That brings us to Friday’s statement from Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman. He mentions that the front office is “working hard to finalize our roster,” strongly hinting that additional moves are in the works.
Sherman included one of his favorite phrases: “sustained success.” It is exciting to have good prospect depth, and more talent on its way.
But the Marlins’ top priority should be to get the team in a position to win now. While they may look much improved from the 2021 season and stand to benefit from the universal DH, without more changes, they would be clear underdogs to the Braves and Mets in the NL East and to several other NL teams in the Wild Card race. Miami fans have been extremely patient and deserve a better product at the major league level in 2022.