Well, it happened. Ya’ll thought the Marlins were just kidding.
“Throw the idea of big free agent signings,and even if the studs won’t sing, the fans will come.” They said.
Well, last night, Jose Reyes and the Miami (puke) Marlins pulled off a 6-year, $102M deal, and I am pretty excited about it.
Why? Because the Marlins just became one of the better teams in the National League East. That’s right – as of now, the Miami Marlins are better than the Braves, Nationals and especially the Metros.
Yet, the Phillies still loom atop and the Nationals could be a powerhouse within 1-2 seasons. The problem with the Nationals and Phillies is a few glaring holes masked by stopgaps and phenoms. Take Ryan Howard out of the Phillies lineup (just make your pitcher throw left handed) and their anemic offense is exposed. Utley is a shell of his former self. Rollins might not even return. The Nationals can slug like an American League team, but they still can’t pitch (well, except for that one guy.)
The Marlins, however, have built a reasonable pitching staff (no, really) and have a beautiful young, lineup.
1. Jose Reyes (SS)
2. Emilio Bonifaco (3B/2B/SS/OF) / Matt Dominguez (3B)
3. Hanley Ramirez (2B/SS/3B/CF)
4. Mike Stanton (RF)
5. Gaby Sanchez (1B)
6. Logan Morrisson (LF)
7. John Buck (C)
8. Chris Coghlan (OF) / Emilio Bonifacio (Util) / Omar Infante (Util)
9. Pitching Void (SP/RP)
I mean come on, that was a good lineup last year. Now they have Reyes atop – erasing a steady state question mark or Ramirez/Bonifacio/Other. The Reyes signing puts HanRam in his place, as well – the #3 hole. However, the position mash-up for Miami right now is a little messy. Reyes should play shortstop. As good as Hanley is, he’s lazy, and you cannot have a lazy SS. Ramirez could land at 3B if the Marlins fall to acquire a serviceable player and Matt Dominguez isn’t ready, I am sure he is capable of 2B, but the Marlins would be better off keeping Bonifacio in the lineup regularly at 2B, and with HanRam’s athleticism, he could easily play CF while Chris Coghlan figures out WHAT HAPPENED after 2010.
Actually, if you bother to follow the link to FanGraphs, you’ll notice Chris Coghlan really wasn’t that great…ever. So, shit, just move Hanley to centre field. I am sure he can handle it.
There is one step the Marlins need to take to become a true competitor with the Phillies, and that’s CJ Wilson. A rotation of Josh Johnson / Hipster CJ / Ricky Nolasco / Anibal Sanchez / Miscellaneous would be a nice return to how the Marlins have got to the World Series (and won it, 2-for-2!) in the past – and with an even better lineup behind them.
Of course, this all rests on the health of Reyes, which, as we all know, is questionable at best. Harold Reynolds on last night’s Hot Stove bluntly stated that he’d be healthier playing in Miami, where it’s more humid and warmer through the season. Apparently, Harold has never been to Queens in the summer. Keep in mind that as it may be good conditions for playing in Miami (especially with the dome) the Marlins will still have to play in the shitty North Atlantic climes of Queens, the Bronx, Philadelphia and Washington until June at the earliest. Lest we forget Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, and any of the other open-air away stops the Marlins may see this Spring.
By the way, BleacherReport usually sucks, but a big effing eh to whoever photoshopped that M on to Reyes’ pic. Well done.