A Role Reversal

Winter Meetings Day Two Chat
Report: Nats have asked Yankees about Gardner
(Matthew Emmons/US Presswire)

It’s been a slow offseason for the Yankees, but the same can’t be said for the Marlins. Not only did they change their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins, but they also redesigned their uniforms* and have a brand new ballpark set to open next season. That park is going to be filled with new players too; the Marlins have already signed Heath Bell and agreed to terms with Jose Reyes, and recent reports indicate that they’ve offered Albert Pujols a ten-year (!) contract. Obviously, these aren’t your grandfather’s older brother’s Marlins anymore.

* Are they ugly? Yes. Is everyone talking about them? Also yes. No such thing as bad publicity.

Usually it’s the Yankees falling all over themselves to acquire big name players in the offseason while the Marlins sit on the sidelines, but the exact opposite is happening this winter. It’s kinda neat, actually. It’s fun watching big name players change teams, especially when the Yankees aren’t the ones taking the risk. Bell is a reliever, Reyes has had hamstring problems, and a ten-year contract is scary no matter who gets it. These are some bold but risky moves, if nothing else.

Of course the Marlins have a history of doing this sort of thing. They acquired Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, and Cliff Floyd (among others) leading up to the 1997 season, then won the World Series. Mission accomplished. A massive fire-sale followed, but they won their championship, so the plan worked. You can quibble with how they did it if you want, but a ring is a ring.

We’ve been spoiled by sustained success here in New York, but pretty much every other club operates in cycles. Three or four good years followed by three or four bad years, something like that. Retool, rebuild, then make another run and hope you get lucky. It’s easy for me to say from where I sit, but I do think a lot of clubs get a little too caught up in building for the future and not living in the moment, so to speak. The Rays are a pretty good example, they’ve got a great team right now and have gone to the playoffs in each of the last two years, but they didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline. Last year they needed an extra starter (Jamie Shields was awful and both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann were banged up in the second half), and this past year they needed an extra bat. Instead of making a move that might have put them over the top, they stood pat. Is it better to shoot for success two or three or four years down the road, or to go for it all right now? I can see the argument for both sides.

Anyway, the Marlins are clearly going for it all right now. Bell, Reyes, and potentially Pujols are joining a club with a solid foundation in place, led by Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Mike Stanton, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, and Logan Morrison. The Yankees seem content with what they have, or at least they’re not rushing out to make any major upgrades just yet. It’s certain different than what they’ve done in years past and what the Marlins are doing right now.

Winter Meetings Day Two Chat
Report: Nats have asked Yankees about Gardner
  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon L.

    I never thought I would see the day that the Marlins were outspending the Yankees and Red Sox in an offseason.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando


  • Super Cereal

    It’s got to be exciting to be a Marlins fan, at least… five years down the road maybe not so much.

  • Ethan

    I’m guessing they’re doing this by taking a gamble that big name stars will draw people to games. Drawing people to games means they have more money to spend and the cycle continues

  • Jimmy

    I live in South Florida and the Marlins have trouble drawing ANY crowds so I applaud them for the efforts.

    • Esteban

      I hope they didn’t steal your money for the new stadium too.

  • http://none Favrest

    The Marlins have two massively overrated SS. That doesn’t make them a contender. Josh Johnson is made of glass. Jose Reyes is also made of glass. All of this will backfire by the all star break.

    • Mister Delaware

      Aside from Tulo, which SS would you rather have had over the past five years?

      • Tom Zig

        Hanley or Reyes. The Marlins now have both.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    from what I’ve read is that if they did get Pujols, they’d deal Hanley. If not, dam…

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I would always rather be the Yankees. I lived in Miami for 15 years before moving back up there. No matter what happens, or who they attract, that is a football city and nothing else. The second most popular team in that town is the Miami Hurricanes. The only team I remain a fan of, after all those years, is the Heat, and that’s because I’ve felt a connection from day one there and there’s too much water under the bridge from the Heat/Knicks rivalry of the late 90’s for me to ever change allegiances.

    They’ll draw more people, but it won’t be enough. I hope Albert Pujols is not stupid enough to sign, only to get traded once they either win another championship or get tired of chasing it.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      If Pujols does sign with the Marlins and they win a WS, who is going to take on Pujols’ contract in a trade?

  • well you know

    What I love about this is that the Red Sox have a home-and-home with the Marlins this year. I don’t think that’s ever happened before and I suspect it might be connected to the Sox complaining about the Yanks getting to match up with the increasingly crappy Mets.

    Hope the Marlins sign Albert and he takes a few over the Monstah come June.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Same with Hanley. I hope he hits more than a few over the Monstah in June. Make them pay for trading him awhile back! Haha.

  • Sayid J.

    Wait, Shields was awful?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      In 2010, yes.

      • Sayid J.

        Ah. You said “last year” and i read it as “last season.”

  • TomH


    We’ve been spoiled by sustained success here in New York, but pretty much every other club operates in cycles.

    Perhaps that’s changing, and the Yankees are preparing to become cyclical–or, at least, are preparing to become more financially cautious.

    Does anyone really know what the Yankees financial situation is?

    • Panicy Pete

      1965 here they come. They’re DOOMED!

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Question: “Does anyone really know what the Yankees financial situation is?”

      Answer: “I’m still riiiich beyotch!”

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    So it looks like Boston is going to have Bard in the rotation and go with Jenks as the closer?

  • Ethan

    Sigh, i was really hoping things would pick up rumor-wise during the winter meetings for the yanks. Apparently not, at least not yet.

  • viridiana

    Does anyone know how much the Marlins have collected in revenue sharing? How much of that (I would imgagine most of it) came directly from the Yanks?