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The Miami Marlins have been one of Major League Baseball’s most dysfunctional teams since their inception in 1993.
In the 26 years since their inaugural season, the Marlins have made it to the playoffs twice, and in those two playoff seasons, they won the World Series. In the other 23 years, they only finished above .500 four times and are slated to do so again this season.
That’s why when the news broke that former New York Yankees shortstop and captain, Derek Jeter, was taking over as CEO and a controlling partner, there was hope. However, within one year, the status quo seems to still be in tact.
At this point last the season, the Marlins had several All-Stars including outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcelo Ozuna, infielders Dee Gordon and catcher J.T. Realmuto. The only left from that All-Star group is Realmuto and reports earlier this year were that even he wanted out.
In their places, they’re several players that are under the age of 30, and while not bad players by any stretch, to replace superstars like Stanton and Yelich doesn’t do them justice.
While it would be one thing if they had a strong farm system coming out of the trade deadline, the big problem is that their minor leagues are still weak.
According to a recent ranking, the Marlins rank 25th out of all 30 teams. To add insult to injury, going into the trade deadline, the same rankings had the Marlins at 23rd.
Meaning, while they picked up minor league pieces in exchange for first baseman Justin Bour, outfielder Cameron Maybin and reliever Brad Ziegler, they also didn’t receive significant pieces that could help make their team better in the immediate future.
While it seems rough now and even over the course of the next couple of seasons, the trades were something that Jeter had to do.
Former MLB general manager Jim Bowden said in an interview, “The Marlins’ position players were good enough to go to the World Series. Had they had the resources to build a starting rotation around it, that would have been the best tack because this team could have won and won quick.”
The crazy thing is he’s right. The Marlins were losing money, and while they could remain at about a .500 team, they wouldn’t have lasted many games with the poor pitching they had.
Minor league players may have gone down a bit after the trade deadline and it didn’t help that two of their top prospects, pitchers Braxton Garrett and Tyler Kolek, both suffered injuries.
When going through the road of rebuilding, it’s often the hardest because fans can quickly become impatient. While Jeter inherited a bad situation, he had to make it worse so it could get better.
The Marlins may not reach the constant play that the Colorado Rockies have had but they had enjoyed sporadic success as well. Their time could come again soon.