New Miami Marlins' manager Mike Redman will likely have a rough first season. How close are the Marlins to contending this year?
The Miami Marlins may not have a contending team come opening day 2013. The team committed $203 million on former manager Ozzie Guillen, closer Heath Bell, pitcher Mark Buehrle and shortstop Jose Reyes. Guillen was fired and Bell was traded. Though Buehrle and Reyes pretty much met expectations, the Marlins were not in the playoff conversation.
Marlins' President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest was honest in new manager Mike Redmond's introductory press conference that the team probably isn't a contending team right now:
"I don't think we're there where we can talk about contending. It's not that we can't. I just don't want to be outward with it. We finished in last the last two years. I don't think it's realistic for me to come and say to you with credibility we're going to contend next year. We need to improve next year and if that means contending, then so be it."
The Marlins have two major areas of need, left field and third base. They have signed Kevin Kouzmanoff and right-handed reliever Jordon Smith to minor-league deals with invites to Marlins camp in the spring. In the past, the Marlins have been able to find talent such as Dan Uggla in the Rule 5 draft and getting Cody Ross from the Cincinnati Reds for $1. However, only nine teams have ever manufactured the worst-to-first turnaround, the most recent being the 2007 Tampa Bay Rays.