Mets fans may have just heard the best news possible: the Marlins are sellers.
Back in March, everyone and their brother was predicting the NL East to be the toughest division in the National League, and possibly the most competitive in MLB. Boy, have things changed since then.
In case you missed it, the Miami Marlins sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit for 22-year-old prospect Jacob Turner. According to all reports, the deal is just the beginning of yet another housecleaning in Miami, with rumors that Josh Johnson and/or Hanley Ramirez are next to go. With the Marlins waving the white flag, and the Phillies firmly entrenched in the cellar, the Mets’ chance of falling further in the standings is greatly diminished. Sure, only two games currently separate the Mets and Marlins, and the Mets are reeling, but the Fish are about to go belly up — it’s already bad, and it’s going to get much worse, before it gets better in Miami. They’re blowing that thing up down there.
At first I was stunned by the news; why would the Marlins pack it in? It could have been argued that they had more raw talent than anyone in the NL East — on paper. But it makes sense: yes, they do have all kinds of talent — youthful talent — and it’s not working. Maybe Ozzie Guillen is to blame, or maybe he’s the answer. The Marlins have been underachieving ever since Joe Girardi left, so maybe it’s time to change the players instead of the manager. The Fish have always had individual super talents that they’ve coddled and pampered. Coaches and managers looked the other way when simple plays weren’t executed time and time again, figuring the talent would eventually overwhelm or somehow “fix” their flawed fundamentals. Perhaps now the Miami organization is looking to cash in on those individuals, sending them packing in return for players who may better fit into a team-oriented, winning system. In other words, moves to change the culture.
Though the Marlins are writing off 2012, they’re in a great position to bolster their club quickly and also for the long-term, because some of those individual super talents may fetch them great packages of players. What team in baseball wouldn’t want Josh Johnson? How many teams can use a potential superstar shortstop (or third baseman) like Hanley Ramirez?
So what does this mean for the Mets? With the Marlins sellers, should the Mets be buyers? They more or less have third place locked up; should they settle for that or make a push for one of those two Wild Card spots? Maybe the Mets can pluC. Johnson — and Heath Bell — away from Miami. If such an opportunity arose, and it cost, say, Zack Wheeler and a few other prospects, do you do it?
On the other hand, there is concern that if the Marlins continue with a fire sale, that’s the opening for the Phillies to barge through. If the Phillies extend Cole Hamels, they might look to load up and make a serious run in the final two months. Somehow, though, I’m not seeing it. Most likely, the Phillies also become sellers, and the NL East turns into a vulture’s haven, as other clubs pick the best meat from the dying carcasses of teams out of the pennant race.
What’s your thought? Do you agree that the Marlins’ choice to sell is good news for the Mets? Or is it bad news? Or is it non-news? Do you think the Mets should inquire on anyone the Marlins are selling? Post your thoughts in the comments.
About the Author
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.