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The Marlins have some heavy lifting to do to get themselves into 2021 postseason contention.
Projected for big-time regression
The Marlins made it to the MLB postseason in 2020 and nothing can take that accomplishment away from them. At first glance, one might think they’re capable of being even better next season by simply standing pat. Imagine full years from Starling Marte and Sixto Sánchez, steps forward from many of the rookies who were rushed to the big leagues in ‘20, plus the fact that their key players are still under club control (closer Brandon Kintzler and the retiring Francisco Cervelli are Miami’s most impactful free agents).
However, Steamer projections don’t see an easy path for the 2021 Marlins to contend, writes Mike Petriello of MLB.com. Their current roster ranks 28th—third-worst in the majors!—in projected Wins Above Replacement. Steamer only trusts Jesús Aguilar to be substantially above-average as a hitter while the likes of Miguel Rojas and Garrett Cooper plummet.
Though I feel that the system fails to account for the upside of Marlins top prospects (specifically Jazz Chisholm, Lewin Díaz and Jesús Sánchez), there is some urgency to add veterans with more extensive track records. Intradivision competition will be fierce with the Mets and Nationals highly likely to rebound from their 2020 disappointments. Even assuming no more COVID-19 outbreaks, organizational depth is critical.
Fortunately, the Marlins enter the heart of the offseason with no long-term player contracts on the books and a new local television deal pending. They have the financial flexibility to make legitimate upgrades.
- Marlins team photographer Joseph Guzy captured some extraordinary images from Starling Marte’s first game with the Fish. This blog post takes you behind the scenes.
- As suspected, the Marlins did have some discussions with Michael Hill on a potential contract extension before announcing their split, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. But it was a half-hearted effort—Hill was asked take a pay cut from $3.2 million per year to $2 million despite his contributions to the club’s 2020 success.
- The Angels’ search for a general manager has been narrowed down to “no more than three candidates.” Based on earlier reports, Hill may be among the finalists.
- For you Spanish speakers, outfielder Jesús Sánchez describes what it was like being called up by the Marlins this season.
- Sixto Sánchez received one third-place vote for 2020 NL Rookie of the Year. Shout out to MLB.com’s David Fenn for including Sixto on his ballot. Full voting results here.
- The Manager of the Year award winners will be revealed live on MLB Network during the 6 p.m. ET hour. Don Mattingly, David Ross and Jayce Tingler are the National League finalists.
- Get caught up on our All-Time Marlins Countdown. New players featured seven days a week throughout the offseason!
- These are “uncertain times” for many of us, but particularly baseball scouts. Marlins national crosschecker Eric Valent explains what this year has been like for him.
- Foolish Baseball revisits the combination of smart transactions and good fortune that allowed the Marlins to overcome their early-season COVID-19 outbreak.