Good Morning Nats fans!
It’s been a while between posts, and there have been a lot of moves in Major League Baseball. The team that was making major moves are the now MIAMI Marlins. Their moves are as follows:
SS Jose Reyes: 7 yrs/$106M deal
LHP Mark Buehrle: 4 yrs/$58M deal
RRHP Heath Bell: 3 yrs/$21M deal w/ option for 4th year (worth up to $7M)
All of these moves were essentially during the Winter Meetings in early December. They proceeded to strike out on Albert Pujols, who signed a 10 yr/$240M deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, otherwise knows as baseball’s retirement community, along with CJ Wilson (5 yrs/$77.5M). After that, they’ve been relatively quiet. Yesterday, that changed a bit, as the agreed to send Chris Volstad to the Chicago Cubs for cash and…Carlos Zambrano? That’s right, in a “Ozzie Guillen is managing out club so we did this” kinda move, they acquired the lightning loony himself and are only paying about $2.5M of his $18M salary, so it’s a wash for Miami.
Now, you may be sitting there, reading this, thinking to yourself, “why is this worthy of your blog?” Well, I’ll tell you, oh curious reader. I have an issue with the Miami Marlins. People seem to think they’re going to be incredibly good. I’m here to say, “sorry, no,” except without the sorry part.
Okay, they signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Okay, they traded for Carlos Zambrano. So what? None of those players are franchise-transforming players. None. N-O-N-E. The Mets (and I’m pretty confident the stats will back me up) were no better with Reyes than without Reyes. They made one, count it- ONE, deep playoff run with Reyes on the roster, in 2006, when they went to the NLCS and lost to the 83-79 St. Louis Cardinals, where the Mets were 97-65, but I digress. Heath Bell never carried the San Diego Padres to a championship, and there’s really no way he could, he’s a Closer. Mark Buehrle was a major contributor to the 2005 World Series Champ White Sox, but for the most part he didn’t carry a team anywhere, that team was very very good. Carlos Zambrano is the quintessential extroverted head case, almost the polar opposite of a Mike Pelfrey or AJ Burnett. He no longer has that big powerful Fastball, and he’s going to be the Marlins #5 starter. The Marlins only got him because of his relationship with Ozzie Guillen, and it’s going to be an absolute circus with Ozzie, Zambrano, Morrison on Twitter, and Heath Bell being funny.
Don’t get me wrong, Mike Stanton is a BEAST, Logan Morrison is a sick young hitter (if the Marlins ever want to keep him on the Major League level, where he belongs), Josh Johnson is great, and so is Mark Buehrle. But Josh Johnson is coming off SHOULDER problems. I think (and this may be the reverse kiss of death) the Miami Marlins are the most overrated team going into the 2012 Major League season. We’ve seen the Miami Heat in the NBA, where a few big signings/deals lead to a Championship appearance, although they lost to the Dallas Mavericks. We’ve seen the converse effect with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles (of which I’m a big fan. I know, a Nats and Eagles fan? Weird right? I’m also an Islanders fan, living in NY and all) where they made A LOT of big signings, and finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Am I saying the Marlins are a “dream team”? No, I’m saying that going out and throwing money at top free agents doesn’t translate to winning the NL East, and going deep into the playoffs. If Josh Johnson doesn’t stay healthy, Zambrano doesn’t control himself, Jose Reyes plays less that 135 games, they won’t be far off from their 71-91 record. Remember, Ozzie Guillen’s last 3 seasons as White Sox manager? 2009: 79-83 (3rd place AL Central) 2010: 88-74 (2nd place AL Central) 2011: 79-83 (3rd place AL Central). Zero playoff appearances in the last 3 seasons as the White Sox Manager. That’s all I’m saying.