Over the course of 30 days (or so) I will be previewing all 30 MLB teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2015 season. This post is previewing the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins apparently weren’t happy with finishing in fourth place in the NL East last season, so they went out this offseason and traded for guys like 3B Martin Prado, 2B Dee Gordon and pitchers Mat Latos and Dan Haren. Oh, and they also signed their RF Giancarlo Stanton to the largest contract in MLB history, a 13-year extension worth $325 million.
One reason for the Marlins 77-85 record last season was the team’s 3.78 ERA, the fifth-worst in the National League, which was partially a result of 2013 NL Rookie of the Year P Jose Fernandez making only eight starts before being sidelined for the majority of the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery. He likely won’t be ready to pitch until around the middle of the season, so the club is hoping the addition of Latos and Haren will help firm up the rotation in his absence. Offensively, Gordon should be an improvement at the 2B position, both offensively and on the basepaths — his 64 stolen bases last season were more than the entire Marlins team (58). Those steals could help lead to more runs for a team that was right around league average in runs/game.
I think the Marlins’ acquisitions this winter did improve the team and should be enough to get them closer to the .500 mark, if not better, but not enough to overtake the Nationals as the best team in the division. They could finish in second place, depending on how the Mets‘ season goes, But regardless, I think the Marlins’ playoff drought — they haven’t been in the postseason since 2003 — will continue.