Offseason Changes: Marlins

In: Omar Infante, John Buck, Javier Vazquez, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb, Michael Dunn, Dustin Richardson, Shawn Hill, Greg Dobbs, Joe Thurston, Ruben Gotay

Out: Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, Ronny Paulino, Andrew Miller, Will Ohman, Chad Tracy, Jorge Sosa

The Fish made two big trades in the offseason, sending slugger Dan Uggla to Atlanta and enigma Cameron Maybin to San Diego. On the surface, it appeared that the Marlins were bested in both deals, but when you look at it from the perspective of flexibility — and looked at the other moves made by them in the winter — it all made sense.

Though losing Uggla would seem to be a huge blow, you have to consider that Omar Infante is a pretty good all-around ballplayer, and the trade freed up money to sign heavy-hitting catcher John Buck and starting pitcher Javy Vazquez. Vazquez had a predictably poor year in New York, but has been stellar when competing in the NL East. Buck’s homerun power helps defray the exit of Uggla, and you must also remember the Fish have slugging youngsters Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison pushing themselves into the lineup.

The Maybin deal was more of a head-scratcher, considering that Florida doesn’t have much depth at the centerfield position. However, they’re assuming that natural infielder Chris Coghlan can cut the mustard out there, and they were able to acquire two sorely needed, solid relievers in return for Maybin — Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb.

Along the way, the Marlins also picked up two lefthanders who may help in the bullpen — Michael Dunn and Dustin Richardson. The 25-year-old Dunn was a top prospect in both the Yankees and Braves organizations and seems to have more upside; Richardson is similar to the man he was traded for (Andrew Miller), in that he is tall, lefthanded, and a disappointment thus far. Who knows, maybe a change of scenery will help him out.

As for their spring training invitations, the name Ruben Gotay jumps out at me, as he was a favorite Met of mine back in 2007. Ruben hasn’t been in MLB since ’08 but has posted OPS totals of .845 and .879 in AAA the past two seasons. Former Nats hurler Shawn Hill gets another crack at a big league job, but it seems that injuries have ravaged his career. Standout pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs is in camp, as is DeWayne Wise, who is best remembered for the remarkable catch he made to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game; Wise is summarily forgotten for his career .260 OBP / .645 OPS.

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Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. CatchDog February 22, 2011 at 11:03 am
    The Marlins lost 28 games after the 7th inning last season and 32 one run games. They also have been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball. By solidifying their pen and adding players like Infante over Uggla they appear to have addressed their major weaknesses.

    The projected rotation of Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad are all righthanders. However, the Fish have added key lefties Dunn, Richardson and Randy Choate, who should bridge to set-up man Clay Hensley and closer Leo Nunez. Much improved.

    The Marlins are banking on 21 year old Mike Stanton to blossom into a super star (50 homers in 2012 at the new Stadium), along with Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and talented but tempermental Hanley Ramirez. They’ve also added John Buck (20 homers last season), behind the dish. With the exception of 3rd base prospect Matt Dominguez, Florida has promoted / cleaned out their farm system (rank somewhere around 29th). That said, the roster is pretty much set for the season.

    On paper, they’re a much improved team. They will be interesting to watch this year. And by geographical default, I’ll most likely attend 25 games this season.