Blog Entry

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 7:38 pm
 
Talk about moving and shaking.

The Miami Marlins have a new manager with a Q rating off the charts in Ozzie Guillen. They've squired free agents Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes around their new ballpark this week on recruiting visits. They've been in touch with free agent Prince Fielder, and sources say they're very active in the relief pitching market as well (Heath Bell?).

Thursday, a Marlins contingent is due in the Dominican Republic to watch Yoennis Cespedes, the flashy Cuban defector who is expected to be declared a free agent within the next few weeks.

Now, poised to unveil new uniforms on Friday, the question is: Will the Fish be able to hook a marquee free agent or two to wear those new threads?

Perhaps a better -- and certainly more direct -- question: Are the Fish really and truly serious about changing their gills and writing jumbo-sized checks? Or is this an early winter blitz to sell tickets that will end with ticket-holders looking around a new ballpark next summer wondering where all those big plans went?

Sorry, two questions there, not one.

But with the Marlins, things are rarely as they seem.

Unquestionably, their early-winter actions have the attention of an industry that has long been accustomed to watching owner Jeffrey Loria do what Mike Ditka once accused Bears owner George Halas of doing: Throw nickels around like manhole covers.

But the Marlins finally have a new stadium and they know they need to fill it. In fact, club president David Samson, during an interview on SiriusXM radio Wednesday, predicted that the club will be "drawing, I'd say, 30,000 to 35,000 every single game."

Last year, the Marlins averaged 19,007 per game, last in the National League and 28th in the majors.

"They're trying to sell tickets," one industry source said Wednesday of the Marlins' aggressive early movement. "They're trying to get people excited about the ballpark. If they can do that, good for them."

If they can lure Reyes, All-Star Hanley Ramirez, who underwent left shoulder surgery after playing in only 92 games last season, would slide over to third base.

Buehrle, who has logged 200 or more innings pitched for 11 consecutive seasons, would provide a nice veteran anchor to the rotation -- and his workload undoubtedly would help pick up the slack the next time ace Josh Johnson goes back onto the disabled list.

Certainly, if the Marlins can sign Reyes or Buehrle, that would preclude them from adding Fielder. And despite the early push, one veteran agent said Wednesday he can't see the Marlins adding more than one marquee free agent.

Still, it's the time of the winter for dreaming, and the Marlins right now are dreaming big. Just a year ago, they traded slugger Dan Uggla to Atlanta because they couldn't agree to terms on a contract extension. Just two Januarys ago, the players' union nicked them for violating revenue-sharing rules and not spending enough money on player payroll.

We know the Marlins are moving into a brand new ballpark in 2012.

But are they really moving into a new world as well?

As Samson and Guillen pulled out all the stops with Reyes at the iconic Joe's Stone Crab for lunch Wednesday, they would have us believe they are. They've indicated that they intend to crank up their payroll in 2012 to $80 million or so, from $57 million in 2011.

Fine. But until they finally dress one (or more) of these guys in those new uniforms, it's all sizzle and no steak -- or, as they'd say at Joe's, all shell and no crab.

Until they finally dress one (or more) of these guys in those new threads, the Marlins remain as they always have: Buyer beware.
Comments

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

Strictly from an economic standpoint, NO team should consider a $100 million contract player unless they honestly believe that REVENUE can be increased by that much as a direct result of the signing.

The Marlins and Rays are probably 2 of few teams that realistically might be able to meet that criteria.

The Marlins already have shown they are an organization that can consistently scout and sign good young pitching, and that's half the battle. They do have a couple of problems, and attendence is just the most urgent one. The new stadium will attract a new crowd, and maintain at least some of the previous one. It will take more than a new manager in a new uni to keep them coming, however.

Ozzie Guillen might help solve some of the other problems, specifically applying some motivational psychology on Hanley Ramirez, or setting his arse ablaze and calling it a barbeque, if that doesn't work...Ozzie does recognize the only thing worse than a weak offense, is combining it with a bad defense....and I believe the Marlins might improve both with just a couple of additions, a couple of subtractions, and a spring training with THE fundamentals finatic, Senior Smartazz...aka, Ozzie Guillen. 


The Marlins could sign a name, trade for an off the radar answer or two, while still keeping a sensible budget, and make a serious run in a division with an increasingly inward looking Atlanta team, and a pitching rich but increasingly injured Phillies team that couldn't score in a ho-house with a credit card.     
    



Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

"The Marlins moving into the heart ofMiamiDadeCountyshould bring a significant increase to attendance. The 19K average should be around 25K per game for sure. Miami Dade has more baseball fans than the area they played at before."

That is absolutely entirely false.  Over 70% of the Marlins season ticket base was in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, NOT Miami-Dade County. 
Yes more people from Broward and West Palm went because SunLife Stadium was on the Norther Most border of Miami-Dade County and it is inconvienant for most Miami-Dade residents to make the expressway trip for weekday games.  Much Much easier coming south to Sunlife.  Not sure if will get the Miami-Dade people off the couch (Marlins have always had large tv following).  BUT I see the BIGGEST positive is the roof.  Much more comfortable to watch a game and no chance of rain-outs. Lets just hope put a good product on field and keep it.  so sad after winning 2 and then dismantling. 



Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:35 am
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

change the name to MIAMI GATORS and stick them in the AL !!!




Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: November 11, 2011 1:08 am
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

The Don Rey is typical of the ignorance of the South Florida Baseball fan.  I have lived in South Florida since 1993, when the Marlins became a team and what I've seen of this organization, expect more of the same.  A team with Champagne aspirations, operating on a beer budget. 

"The Marlins moving into the heart ofMiamiDadeCountyshould bring a significant increase to attendance. The 19K average should be around 25K per game for sure. Miami Dade has more baseball fans than the area they played at before."

That is absolutely entirely false.  Over 70% of the Marlins season ticket base was in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, NOT Miami-Dade County.  By moving to Little Havana, you are disconnecting yourself from 70% of your fan base.  I have not renewed my season tickets, my father and my father in law have both decided not to renew as well.  It is physically impossible for us to make a 7 PM start time on a week day fighting Miami traffic.  There is nothing in the history of the Marlins that suggests this is a team that can draw 30-35k fans per game as David Samson suggests, and little data to support even 25k per season.  Here's a fun number for you.  16,290.  That's the average attendance during the 2003 season, the last time the Marlins won the World Series.  Here's my prediction.  The first year or 2, the Marlins will average 23-26k fans per game.  Then they will drop off to 18-19k per game in 2014.

Also Gaby Sanchez is more durable since he can play 3B and left field and is a better defensive player than both Pujols and Fielder.

Gaby Sanchez is an up and coming player and a solid defensive 1B, but seriously?  Pujols has played 3B, LF, RF, SS, 2B and 1B and he was brought up to the Majors as a 3B.  He's a 2 time gold glove winner and a career .993 percentage fielder over 11 seasons.  Prince Fielder is also a career .993 fielder after 7 full seasons.  Let's talk about the better fielder when Sanchez has more than 2 full seasons under his belt.  

Personally, I believe that the Marlins will NEVER win another championship with the combination of Loria, Samson and Beinfest in place.  In the moneyball era you have to either hit on all of your prospects or spend money and they have done neither.  The 2003 championship team was Dave Dombrowski's brainchild, and if you doubt that, look what he's done in Detroit, and look at what's happened to the Marlins since he went to Detroit.  If the Marlins were serious about adding money to the team, they would have started last year or even the season before, just after they broke ground on the new ballpark.  It's a common practice to backload contracts in MLB.  Instead, they let one of their best power hitters and clubhouse leader in Dan Uggla go.  Atlanta didn't blink at 5 years $62 mil and neither should have the Marlins for a guy who has averaged 32 HR per season at 2B.  Everything that the Marlins organization is doing right now in regards to Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and most likely Jose Reyes is a facade.  Does anyone really think the Marlins will devote 25% of their payroll to one player when they will need to reconsider the contracts of Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez and their true star, Mike Stanton, within the next 2-3 years?
 




Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:02 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

All this off season stuff is just for show in hopes of getting some suckers to buy season tickets>> Loria still has his communion money,, he aint spending a dime on these big names he is supposedly "squiring"




Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

What a sham the Marlins franchise and Jeffrey Loria are.  Shame on MLB bound and determined to have successful baseball in senior citzen land FL they ignore the fire sale(s) mentality and reward them.  Reyes & Fielder want the most $, so of course they`ll visit and act interested.  Buehrle...dreamin, but what a great thing to be a LHP.  Love the "crank up" payroll line....it`s a called a cheapskate owner who will surely have another fire sale even IF they win yet another World Series. Sorry Cubs fans, it must pain you to no end they`ve won 2 and all you have is Bartman, Theo and beer.  Anywho, being givin a new stadium by taxpayers(not like FL residents pay much in taxes anyway) & the requirement to now have a respectable team payroll is more insulting. Stop the madness MLB, get a max & min salary cap with some revenue sharing.  



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

The Marlins moving into the heart of Miami Dade County should bring a significant increase to attendance. The 19K average should be around 25K per game for sure. Miami Dade has more baseball fans than the area they played at before.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

I don't know where Scott got his information but David Samson said he has not got in contact with Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols yet. The Prince has yet to return any calls and it probably won't happen. They have a bargain guy in Gaby Sanchez who only hit 11 less homeruns and 20 less RBIs than Pujols. Why go after one of these guys when they are not that much better than Gaby and Gaby is a cheaper option rfor the next couple years? Also Gaby Sanchez is more durable since he can play 3B and left field and is a better defensive player than both Pujols and Fielder.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 7:22 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

I don't think an $80M payroll gets you all that much if you don't have much to start with.

 

 But I see Miller has joined the CBS scribes in quoting those "industry sources." Tell me, Scott. What about that comment needed to be made by an anonymous source? Nothing? I bet you just made it up, didn't you?

This story is vapid, pointless and tells me nothing.



Since: May 2, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Can Marlins convince big guns to wear new unis?

the comment about posada...um i hope they dont sign him. thats like the brewers signing jason kendall a few years back. was ok but seriously??? his career is long gone


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com