The beginning of a new baseball season is less than two weeks away and fans in South Florida are feeling a different kind of excitement than they have in the past. While this isn’t the first time that the Miami Marlins have had a busy and expensive offseason, the consensus amongst baseball minds across the country is that this time around the team is doing things with the present and the future in mind.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Confirm Shooting Death Of Rapper Wavy Navy Pooh Near Zoo Miami
Marlins fans can’t be blamed for being skeptical when it comes to how their front office operates. There have been too many fire sales, too many false hopes and too much deception and betrayal for fans to say that they trust what Miami’s brass says is good for the team. That could be in the process of changing and all those loyal Marlins fans may finally have a reason to start trusting the team again. Here are the top reasons why the Marlins are finally doing things the right way.
Giancarlo Stanton’s New Contract
The perception around the Marlins may finally be changing for the better and it all started with Giancarlo Stanton and the massive ‘forever’ deal he signed back in November. It’s widely known that Stanton is one of the best young hitters the game has ever seen and at 25, he’s just entering the prime years of his career. He also made it very clear that while he liked the idea of staying with the Marlins long-term, he wasn’t going to do that unless there were some guarantees that things would be different with the organization.
When the announcement of Stanton’s 13-year deal worth $325 million was made, it was clear that the team did a good job of convincing him that he was making the right decision. It also sent a message to everyone in baseball that the Marlins are committed to winning with Stanton as the central piece of the puzzle. Several moves that were made in the weeks after the signing further proved that yes, this time the Marlins are serious. Suddenly, players could consider Miami as a great place to play with an emphasis put on winning both now and in the future.
Commitment To Young Core
Aside from Stanton, the Marlins have several very talented young players that they are trying to build around. The team just signed outfielder Christian Yelich to a seven-year extension and they’ve already made it clear to the rest of their young core that they want to keep them in Miami as well. Discussions about contract extensions have happened with Marcell Ozuna, Adeiny Hechavarria and Jose Fernandez, all of whom are key players that will have a major impact on the future of the team.
Strong Starting Rotation
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One thing that the Marlins have always seemed to have is good starting pitching. This season will be no different with the additions of Mat Latos and Dan Haren, who will join Henderson Alvarez, Jarred Cosart and Tom Koehler to round out what could very well end up being one of the best rotations in the National League. Oh, and let’s not forget Jose Fernandez, who will claim his spot as Miami’s ace sometime after the All-Star Game.
Now unlike the rest of the key elements of the team, the starting rotation may not look the same after this season so this is an area to keep a close eye on moving forward. Latos and Haren are both in the final year of their contracts and could easily move on after the season. Alvarez is arbitration eligible but odds are that the Marlins will look to lock him up long-term as well.
Players Want To Be Here
In 2014 the Marlins were one of the surprise teams in baseball, and many of the players attributed their strong seasons to a great atmosphere in the clubhouse and solid environment to work and improve. The great teams, regardless of the sport, can always boast a great locker room. Just like anywhere else, when you love coming to work every day it’s going to reflect in the work you do. When watching the Marlins last season, it was evident that everyone was having a good time.
That setting in Miami has several of their key new players feeling extremely good about joining the Marlins. Whether it’s Latos, Haren, Dee Gordon, Michael Morse or even Ichiro Suzuki, each one of them has said on multiple occasions how happy and excited they are to be a part of this team, and it shows on their face and in their work every day.
Bringing In The ‘Right’ Guys
A big part of players wanting to be in Miami is that the team is comprised of the right kind of guys. The young, up and coming players like Yelich, Ozuna, Hechavarria and Fernandez are all very hard workers who put a lot of pride into what they do. They want to learn from the veterans, and the older guys feed off of the energy of the youngsters.
Not only did the Marlins fill their needs with some great new players, but they’re all extremely happy to continue their careers in Miami. News travels fast, and players recognize the franchises that are the best to be a part of. After the 2013 season nobody wanted to play in Miami but oh how things have changed in a year. The Marlins have finally built something that both players and fans want to be a part of and if the organization is smart, they’ll make sure that this is only the beginning.MORE NEWS: Second Annual Bike Ride Held At Charles Hadley Park To Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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