Marlins offseason roundup

Jeffrey Loria and his infamous salary dumping appears to have stricken again, but this time the damage isn’t like the 2005 offseason.  Mike Jacobs was traded to the royals for Leo Nunez.  This trade in my mind was awful because trading a good power hitting, left handed first baseman for a middle reliever seems like a dumb move.  I know that the management is trying to move towards pitching and speed but they shouldn’t trade away good talent for mediocre pitching and speed.  But, knowing the marlins Leo Nunez will probably end up being a star closer as the players we get usually end up being good.  The worse trade, i think is the trade of Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham being traded for second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and second baseman Jake Smolinski and pitcher P.J. Dean.  Now the prognosis for Emilio Bonifacio is that he if fast and is a good contact hitter, who has the potential to be a good leadoff hitter.  But it seems like he’s going to end up being a backup infielder on the marlins, blocked by Dan Uggla at second and Cantu at third.  The only way he would end up starting is if he were to win the third base job, but Cameron Maybin already seems ready to take over the leadoff spot so i’m not sure how Emilio would fit into the lineup.  Is it worth trading a Pitcher (Olsen) with a lot of upside and a solid left fielder (Willingham) for a backup second baseman and two mediocre prospects.  Also, Kevin Gregg was traded to the Cubs for Jose Ceda, a reliever. I’m okay with this trade becuase Gregg struggled at the end of the season, although he is still a very good pitcher, and Matt Lindstrom is ready to take over as the closer. Over all I would give the marlins moves this offseason a C but the marlins have a way of turning players received from trades from good prospects into great players.   

Ben Sheets needs to come to Miami

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With the slow market in baseball this offseason multiple big time players such as Manny Ramirez, obviously, and Ben Sheets have gone unsigned.  Why Ben is unsigned perplexes me because he is a fantastic pitcher and was the staff ace of the Brewers for a long time.  Also he had a great year in 08′, he had a 3.09 ERA and got 13 wins, but most importantly he was only a couple of innings away from throwing 200 IP.  The signs point to teams being afraid he will get hurt, as he has been injured in the past, which makes it perfect for the Marlins to swoop in and sign him to a one year contract for around 5-10 million dollars with lots of incentives.  It will raise the payroll a lot, but so what, it’s only a one year contract and we have a tiny payroll.  Also it would give us probably the best pitching staff in the majors (Nolasco, Johnson, Volstad, Sanchez, Sheets) forget the Yankees (they way overpaid for Burnett), and hey maybe we’ll win another world series.  We won our first one in 97, six years later we got our second, and now it’s been another six years, i’m good with a third championship.  So, Marlins managment, if your reading this, GO SIGN BEN SHEETS!   

What the Marlins will look like in 09′

This is my first post and I’m getting the hang of typing my thoughts into a box so here goes.  Here’s what i think the Marlins lineup will look like in 09′ compared to what it was for the majority of 08.’ 
09′                                            08′
1. Cameron Maybin                   1. Hanley Ramirez
2. John Baker                           2. John Baker/Jeremy Hermida
3. Hanley Ramirez                    3. Jorge Cantu
4. Jorge Cantu                          4. Mike Jacobs
5. Dan Uggla                            5. Dan Uggla
6. Dallas Mcpherson                 6. Josh Willingham
7. Cody Ross                           7. Cody Ross
8. Jeremy Hermida                   8. Matt Treanor/Jeremy Hermida
9 Pitcher’s slot                         9. Pitcher’s slot

The most noticable changes in the lineup is that for one, Cameron Maybin appears to be the favorite to take over in Center Field and batt leadoff so that Hanley can slide down the third spot and maybe get more than the measley 67 RBI’s.  Also with the trades of Josh Willingham and Mike Jacobs, as well as the release of Matt Treanor, there will be couple of position battles.  Jorge Cantu seems likely to move over to first, but Gaby Sanchez and perhaps Dallas Mcpherson will compete for the first base job.  Mcpherson and Emilio Bonifacio (acquired in a trade) will compete for the third base job, I think Mcpherson will run away with that job judging from the 42 homers he blasted in the minor last season.  Also, there is consideration of signing a free agent catcher to back up Baker with the loss of treanor, perhaps Ivan Rodriguez will return to Miami.  So to break it down, here are my predicted changes:
Jacobs out, Willingham out
Cantu goes to 1st base
Mcpherson goes to 3rd base
Maybin takes over in center field
Hermida goes to left field (this seems to have already happenned)
Ross goes to right  field
The pitching staff will stay for the most part intact, assuming there are no more injuries, except for the loss of Scott Olsen.  Hendrickson also will be moving on, thank god, after starting the season as the staff ace he ended the year with an ERA over five, which was unexpected, but bad nonetheless.  Ricky Nolasco seems primed to take over the mantle of staff ace, and he should after posting a 15-8 record with an ERA of 3.52.  Plus, there is still room for him to improve.  Also Josh Johnson should be ready to return at full force from Tommy John surgery, and pitchers often tend to improve after having this surgery which bodes well for JJ.  This is how I think the rotation will go in 09′. 
1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Josh Johnson
3. Chris Volstad (Volstad had a ridiculously good rookie year, posting a 2.88 ERA)
4. Anibal Sanchez (Anibal Struggled in 08′ but will hopefully return to 06′ form when he            threw a no-hitter and posted a sub three ERA)
5. Andrew Miller (This spot is by no means guaranteed as a throng of young Marlins prospects will be competing for it, but given that Andrew was one of the people the organization gave up Miguel Cabrera for he will most likely be the front runner.)  That concludes my predictions of what the Marlins will look like in 09′.  You can email me questions at marlinsmania@gmail.com

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