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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Season Preview: Florida Marlins

2008 Record: 84-77  .522

Run differential: +3 (8th)

2008 payroll: $21,811,500

2008 represented yet another season in which the kids in the south sun exceeded all expectations.  Finishing with a winning record despite trading away their two best known players in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis is yet another testament to GM Larry Beinfest. Having the lowest payroll in the majors is not considered a handicap to this organization.  Instead it gives them an excuse to play minor leaguers who are ready for The Show.  When these players start to get expensive they are shipped off like Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham were this past offseason.  The catch is these guys aren’t stars but instead are cheaper than the alternatives in other organizations.  Even getting something for Kevin Gregg and Mike Jacobs who were candidates to be non-tendered is impressive.

2009 appears to be much like 2008 for the Fish.  Expectations are low, payroll is even lower, but the talent is here.  The organization even locked up Hanley Ramirez, who is arguably the best player in baseball, to a long-term contract. Plans for a new stadium finally appear to be in the works also.  There is no guarantee this will increase revenue for the franchise but you can bet that ownership is banking on it.  With the pipeline of young talent showing no signs of drying up and their best player locked in for several years, it would be foolish to bet against this team having an awful season.  The continuation of smart management decisions coupled with the growth of young players, could allow this franchise be building the next mini-dynasty.  It’s just up to ownership and the fans in Miami to determine how long it lasts.

Likely opening day roster:

Pos. Name Salary How Acquired
C John Baker $.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Oak 3/07
C Ronny Paulino $.44 M Acquired in trade w/ SF 3/28/09
1b Jorge Cantu $3.5 M Acquired in trade w/ TB 7/07
2b Dan Uggla $5.35M Selected in Rule V draft '05.
3b Emilio Bonifacio $.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Was 11/08
SS Hanley Ramirez $5.5 M Acquired in trade w/ Bos 11/05. Signed extension 5/08
LF Jeremy Hermida $2.25M Drafted #11 overall 2002
CF Cameron Maybin $.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Det 12/07
RF Cody Ross $2.25M Contract purchased from Cin 5/2006
Inf West Helms $1.9 M Acquired in trade w/ Phi 4/08. Signed extension 10/08
Inf Andy Gonzalez $.39M Signed as FA 1/13/09
Of Ross Gload $1.9 M Acquired in trade w/ KC 4/09
UT Alfredo Amezaga $1.3 M Claimed off waivers from Col 4/05
SP Ricky Nolasco $2.4 M Drafted #11 overall 2002
SP Josh Johnson $1.4 M Drafted 4th rd 2002
SP Chris Volstad $.4 M Drafted #16 overall 2005
SP Anibal Sanchez $.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Bos 11/05
SP Andrew Miller $5.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Det 12/07
Cl Matt Lindstrom $.41 M Acquired in trade w/ NYM 11/06
SU Leo Nunez $.415M Acquired in trade w/ KC 10/08
RP Scott Proctor $.75M Signed as FA 1/5/08
RP Renyel Pinto $.404M Acquired in trade w/ ChC 12/7/05
RP Logan Kensing $.66 M Drafted 2nd rd 2003
RP Dan Meyer $.4 M Claimed off waivers from Oak 11/08
RP Hayden Penn $.4 M Acquired in trade w/ Bal 4/1/09

Payroll obligations to former players: none

Say hello to: Ross Gload, Emilio Bonifacio, Wes Helms, Hayden Penn, Dan Meyer, Leo Nunez, Ronny Paulino, Jose Ceda

Wave goodbye: Mike Jacobs, Kevin Gregg, Scott Olsen, Josh Willingham, Arthur Rhodes, Matt Treanor, Mark Hednrickson, Joe Nelson, Sergio Mitre

Rookies: Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Cameron Maybin

Non-Roster Invitees to Watch: Kiko Calero

Potential breakout: Cameron Maybin

Welcome to Earth: Chris Volstad, Jorge Cantú

Likely to rebound: Hanley Ramirez (kidding), Josh Johnson, Jeremy Hermida

Strengths: There is a lot of power in this lineup

Weaknesses: Infield defense is iffy unless last season’s improvements from Ramirez and Uggla were for real

Optimal batting lineup (position, name, bats, Avg/OBP/Slg, HR, SB, EqA):

3b Bonifacio B  .248/.305/.344  0, 6  .231

LF Hermida L  .249/.323/.406  17, 6  .260

SS Ramirez R  .301/.400/.540  33, 35  .324

2b Uggla R  .260/.360/.514  32, 5  .299

1b Cantú R  .277/.327/.481  29, 6  .280

CF Maybin R

Rf Ross R  .260/.316/.488  22, 6  .280

C Baker L  .299/.392/.447  5, 0  .301

Prediction: 4th place NL East.

 

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