This is not the most comfortable feeling in the world for Miami Marlins fans. Despite finishing second in the National League East in 2017, the Fish have not made any significant progress in the past four seasons. Add on the fact that the Marlins could not even compete for a wild card spot despite Giancarlo Stanton hitting 59 home runs, and the future of the Marlins is one giant question mark.
Fortunately, a new group has taken over in South Beach, and Derek Jeter knows how to win. That does not mean, however, that he is looking to win in 2018. In order to make a Marlins team that has not seen a postseason game since 2003, Jeter may elect to tear the team down and start from scratch.
Ideally, it would be better for Jeter to “reload” and grab a handful of prospects that can make Miami legitimate in a shorter period of time. His most recent hire may signal such a direction.
On October 11, it was discovered that Jeter had hired Gary Denbo to be the vice president of scouting and player development. He is a familiar face in the Yankees organization, having met Jeter while he was still in the minor leagues in the early 90s. He had also been at the forefront of player development for the Yankees for the past three years. As a result, a team that had been filled with notable veterans for the longest time found a way to break out in 2017 with the help of several key prospects, with both Aaron Judge and Luis Severino currently one of the most successful prospects from Denbo’s time.
Now that one of the more successful members of the Yankees scouting department is in Miami’s hands, there are certainly expectations of his cleaning up the farm system and making the Marlins realistic contenders.
This hiring does not imply anything about Jeter’s intentions. If he chooses to clean house in some capacity, then it would be smart to look at Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, two players who had excellent seasons and may cause Jeter to ask for a big return. Should there be a guaranteed MLB star, such as Boston’s Rafael Devers, thrown into trade talks, the Marlins would be wise to go after him since the farm system could use some amplified talk similar to that of the Atlanta Braves or the Milwaukee Brewers, two teams that could be fighting with the Marlins for a wild card in 2018.
Even though the thought of another rebuilding season is certainly frustrating, there is finally hope that someone who lived and breathed Hall of Fame baseball can right the ship and make Miami contenders. Now that the shocking errors during Jeffrey Loria’s tenure are finally lost in the current formation, it may be time to start thinking about how the best prospects can help the Marlins improve in 2018 should Jeter go after them.
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