This is going to be one interesting offseason down in Miami. First, the team is formally changing from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. The team’s logo and colors are changing, though I haven’t seen official word on what those are going to look like just yet. The team will also open a brand new stadium in April.
Considering all that is going on, it’s widely expected that the Marlins are going to be aggressive spenders this offseason with the hopes of competing in 2012. However, what isn’t clear is what type of players the team will target (aside from possibly a starting pitcher).
The team could have holes to fill at both second and third base. Omar Infante was given a contract extension before the 2011 season concluded and he could fill one of the two positions. The team’s top infield prospect, third baseman Matt Dominguez, likely isn’t ready yet meaning the Marlins could be in the market for a stopgap. There also has to be hope that Hanley Ramirez will remain healthy and will return to his old form.
There could also be holes in the outfield. Mike Stanton is a given in right field, but there are question marks elsewhere. Will center field go to Emilio Bonifacio or Bryan Peterson? Or will the team bring in someone else to play the position? Will Logan Morrison be allowed to mature in left field or will the team trade him this winter to fill another need?
As for the starting rotation there are two big uncertainties. If Josh Johnson is healthy then he’ll provide a big boost atop the team’s rotation. However, even with a healthy Johnson there likely will be a battle for the last spot in the rotation with no logical candidates standing out at this point in time. Pitching should likely be a priority for the Marlins this winter.
With new manager Ozzie Guillen it should be interesting to see how the team’s roster starts to unfold in the coming months. The Marlins are expected to be aggressive, something we haven’t really seen from the organization at any point in their history.
For more on the Marlins, check out our friends over at Marlin Maniac.