After a tough 2022 season, the Marlins are determined to get better in 2023. While the rest of us are making New Year’s resolutions—trying to change undesired traits or behaviors, accomplish personal goals, or otherwise improve at the beginning of a calendar year—let’s prescribe some for this team. I will go through 7 simple objectives for the Marlins and their players to pursue.
Win 80 Games
After back-to-back seasons of under 70 wins, Miami needs to set the bar high and aim for the 80-win marker. In my eyes, that would be a successful season considering the strength of the NL East division. They haven’t reached 80 since 2010.
The Marlins have a talented pitching rotation led by Sandy Alcantara, the reigning NL Cy Young award winner. Veteran sluggers Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler both have the potential for bounce-back seasons. They have a new core of relievers who could turn around Miami’s struggles in high-leverage situations. The Marlins also brought in a new manager and coaching staff, so anything less than improvement in 2023 should be unacceptable.
Sign another starting pitcher to a long-term deal
After making the well-timed decision to sign Sandy Alcantara to a 5-year, $56M contract extension, you start to wonder who is the next pitcher that the Marlins could lock up. The most obvious candidate is Pablo López, coming off a durable 2022 season and being only two years away from free agency. However, multiple reports indicate that the Marlins would rather trade López than commit to somebody with his history of shoulder injuries.
Another interesting option would be Jesús Luzardo. Despite being injured in the middle of the 2022 season, Luzardo showed that he can be a top-end pitcher. He had by far the best K/9 among Marlins starters, featuring a slurve that just catches hitters completely off guard. Luzardo also kept his walks down, allowing him to be enough efficient to work deep into his starts.
Ely Sussman of Fish Stripes proposed an extension of 4 years and $30M earlier this offseason. The Marlins should buy out his arbitration years and extend their control of him beyond that, if possible.
Extend Jazz Chisholm Jr.
This will be a resolution for the Marlins to follow through on next offseason. If Jazz is healthy throughout most of the 2023 season, meaning that he spends minimal time on the injured list and plays at an All-Star level, then the organization really has to commit to him as the face of the franchise.
With past injury history taken into account, it is hard to see the Marlins completely breaking the bank for Jazz. Miami may look at Yoan Moncada’s 2020 extension (5 years, $70M plus a club option) as a starting point in the negotiations.
Eury Pérez pitches half the season in MLB rotation
Marlins number one prospect Eury Pérez will be the talk of spring training. He’s expected to participate as a non-roster invitee and possibly get some starts while his veteran teammates pitch for their countries in the World Baseball Classic.
After a successful year at Double-A Pensacola, he should report to Triple-A Jacksonville to begin the 2023 season. It is not a question of if he will join the big league rotation, but when—the exact timing depends on trades and injuries. Eury has all the ingredients to be a future ace and the Marlins shouldn’t hold him back.
Dylan Floro reaches 40 saves
Dylan Floro had a shortened 2022 season due to injury. The Marlins brought him along slowly and hesitated to trust him in high-leverage situations because of a dip in velocity. In 2021, he was in the 59th percentile of fastball velocity, according to Baseball Savant. In 2022, he only ranked in the 35th percentile.
Floro showed signs of encouragement during the final months of the season. Post-All-Star break Floro had a 2.15 ERA in 29 1⁄3 innings pitched. Specifically in September, he held a 0.73 ERA through the 12 appearances he made and racked up six saves. Most importantly, his velocity rose back to normal.
Expect Floro to have the closer’s job entering 2023. His goal should be to hold onto it from start to finish.
Back-to-back seasons of multiple All-Stars
Last season, for the first time since 2017, the Marlins had multiple All-Star representatives: Jazz Chisholm Jr., Garrett Cooper, and Sandy Alcantara. That was fun—why not do it again? It seems unlikely that Cooper will go back-to-back, but I see All-Star potential in Alcantara, Chisholm, Luzardo, Pablo López, and newcomer Jean Segura if all works out.
Expand on the “Sandy’s Beach” promotion
Maybe the coolest Marlins promotion since “José’s Heroes” back in the day, “Sandy’s Beach” opened at LoanDepot Park midway through 2022 to bring a different atmosphere to Alcantara’s home starts. The Marlins came up with unique t-shirt designs for each start and ticket-holders in sections 22 and 23 got a voucher to claim the shirt. Fans were also given a cardboard “K” sign to flash up every time Sandy recorded a strikeout. The promotion turned out to be a success as “the beach” became an interactive hotspot in the stadium when Sandy was on the mound. It helped that he kept pitching at a Cy Young level (ultimately winning the award unanimously).
I would love to see the Marlins bring back “Sandy’s Beach” in 2023 and milk it for as much promotion as possible. Brainstorm strategies to sell it late in the season even when the Marlins are no longer in contention. I also hope to see other players on the team like Jazz and Pablo get customized promotions of some kind.
Which of these resolutions is most realistic?
This poll is closed
Extend a starting pitcher
Extend Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Half-season of Eury Pérez in MLB (15+ starts)
Dylan Floro reaches 40 saves
Expand on the "Sandy’s Beach" promotion