It’s easy to have an immediate tantrum with Derek Jeter and his front office, after trading away All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Both stars are well-loved by the South Florida community and have been long-standing staples of the Marlins. Fans and season-ticket holders witness their talent dissipate before their eyes. This leaves fan befuddled on where the organization is headed. Ozuna was coming off a career-best season, setting career highs of .312 batting average, 37 home-runs, and 124 RBI’s.
Stanton won the National League MVP, becoming the first player in Marlins history to win the prestigious award. He edged Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto by just two tallies. The production did all the talking, leading the majors with 59 home runs, becoming the eighth player in history to hit at least that at many in a season.
Jeter held a town hall meeting for fans to air their grievances and outline a roadmap of the direction the franchise was going. He preached patience and building through character, integrity, and hard work. Jeter emphasized that this rebuilding process will not occur overnight, but will be the right course of action. In order to achieve a sustained path to success, Jeter has to shed salaries and build a stronger farm system. It has proven to work in the past as prospects can pan out into superstars. Everyone just needs to buy in and trust the process. One cannot just throw money at free-agents and hope to ignite a championship-bound team.
Below are the two prime examples of past rebuilding franchises that have blossomed to fruition.
Five years ago, the Houston Astros were the dumpster fire team in the MLB. To reach the peak, the Astros had to take a tumble and lose an unprecedented amount of games–nearly 600 to be exact. But a shining angel by the name of Jeff Luhnow came to the organization and sparkled his pixie dust (aka scouting experience). General Manager Luhnow’s plan was for the rebuilding seasons to yield high-level prospects who could transform into future stars themselves or be utilized as trading assets for veterans that can immediately impact an organization.
They lost at least 100 games between 2011 through 2013, but the plan started to pan out. The 2013, 2014, and 2015 farm systems produced some of the best young talents that an organization has ever experienced. To name a few, these players include George Springer, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel, and Lance McCullers.
It didn’t take one year for all this to transpire. It takes multiple years of patience and losing games to see this rebuild finally pay off. Fans have to understand that teams must make moves that impact the long-term.
The Chicago Cubs were also a bottom-feeder in the MLB leading up to 2011 that just sucked up losses. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein took over the reigns of the franchise and began the rebuilding process. Epstein has won multiple championships with the Boston Red Sox and strives to implement his overhaul strategy with the Cubs. This included trading away long-time pitcher Ryan Dempster to the Rangers for minor league right-hander Kyle Hendricks. In 2012, Epstein’s biggest trade in Chicago was acquiring later All-Star Anthony Rizzo from the Padres. They got rid of flame-throwing right-hander Andrew Cashner, who was an underperforming starting pitcher.
Epstein is heavily devoted to scouting the right players. He had a sixth sense of detecting talent and leveraging deals. He was able to acquire pitcher Aroldis Chapman, outfielder Dexter Fowler, and pitcher Mike Montgomery. In 2013, the Cubs 101-loss season came with a positive: gaining the number two pick of the draft. Kris Bryant became this second pick, which turned into an instrumental piece to the Cubs championship run. In his second year in the MLB, Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs ,102 RBI’s and was the 2016 National League MVP.
Marlins season-ticket holders should take a back-seat and watch the Derek Jeter project carry out. Building a baseball team starts from the bottom-up, analyzing prospects in the farm leagues and internationally. If anyone knows what a championship contender consists of, its Derek Jeter. He’s been through the ups and downs of the Yankees organization and can relay his experience to South Florida. Patience is a virtue and is what one will need to truly stay on the Marlins bandwagon. Watch for the Marlins in 2020!
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