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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Last-place Miami Marlins lament $190 million spending spree

I hope they kept the receipt.

“We set ourselves up for it,’’ acknowledged Marlins president David Samson of a grand makeover that failed miserably. “We paraded around Dallas. We signed those guys. We opened a new ballpark. We said we’re ‘all in.’ ’’

Not only have the Marlins been a bust on the field, but attendance at their new ballpark has fallen short of expectations, creating an uncertain future on and off the field…

But one thing Samson promised was that every mistake — and there were plenty — will be examined when team executives convene with owner Jeffrey Loria following the season in October.

“I think it’s going to be an interesting October, a little different than the October we envisioned,’’ Samson said of the team’s annual post-mortem. “Jeffrey’s going to look at everything. I mean, he’s angry, and he should be. It’s hard to think you put a plan together and almost every part of the plan does not work out, either by injury or non-performance.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: evil, marlins

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4202424)
"It’s hard to think you put a plan together and almost every part of the plan does not work out, either by injury or non-performance.’’
They got their stadium with other people's money, so almost every part of the plan worked out just fine.
   2. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4202426)

The article itself says that the team's biggest mistake was overestimating their existing talent and deciding that now was the time to go all-in. That's probably fair -- of the guys they acquired, Reyes and Buehrle have performed fine (110 OPS+ and 110 ERA+, respectively), Zambrano has been bad but Volstad has been even worse (I don't remember how much money the Cubs kicked in on that one). The Bell contract does look like a mistake. At least they didn't sign Pujols -- even though he seems to have turned his season around.
   3. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: August 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4202430)
Hey, they gave it four months. I mean, do you want them to wait forever?
   4. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4202486)
Zambrano cost the Marlins just a little bit less than keeping Volstad would have cost them.

Pujols, even with his mini slump, is just blowing away the Marlins' first base production. Hell, if they had signed Pujols and kept Willingham all these years they'd have a winning record and an outside shot at getting the 5th spot. Now if they hadn't gone out and got Ozzie who knows how many more wins that would have been.
   5. fra paolo Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4202497)
Now if they hadn't gone out and got Ozzie who knows how many more wins that would have been.

At least one — last Saturday.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4202507)
The article itself says that the team's biggest mistake was overestimating their existing talent and deciding that now was the time to go all-in. That's probably fair -- of the guys they acquired, Reyes and Buehrle have performed fine (110 OPS+ and 110 ERA+, respectively), Zambrano has been bad but Volstad has been even worse (I don't remember how much money the Cubs kicked in on that one). The Bell contract does look like a mistake. At least they didn't sign Pujols -- even though he seems to have turned his season around.
They'd be better off with Pujols, by a large margin. These are 2012 WAR and salary AAV:

+1.8, $17M - Reyes
+2.3, $15M - Buehrle
-0.7, $9M - Bell
-------------------------
+3.4, $41M - Total

vs.

+4.0, $24M - Pujols

Pujols has more time tacked on at the end of his salary, but I'd rather have Pujols in years 8 than Reyes in year 5 or Bell in year 2.
   7. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4202518)
Now if they hadn't gone out and got Ozzie who knows how many more wins that would have been.

Is Ozzie really costing the Marlins games? As a White Sox fan, I always thought he was a pretty good on-field manager, although you put up with a lot of distractions due to his personality. Of course, maybe having Don Cooper as your pitching coach tends to make you look better than you are.
   8. JustDan Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4202523)
   9. ColonelTom Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4202528)
Loria obviously gave his people orders to deliver a winner immediately, hoping to emulate the success that the Indians and Phillies had upon moving into a new park. Beinfest and Samson thought they'd have the offense to overcome the questions on the pitching staff (Johnson's recovery, Zambrano's insanity, Nolasco's Joe Blanton-ness), and were counting on Hanley to rebound offensively. Instead, Hanley showed that last year was the "new normal" for him, and three of their other position players (LoMo, Buck, and Gaby Sanchez) have hit somewhere around the 10th percentile on their PECOTA projections. I'm not sure anyone could have seen Morrison's and Sanchez's collapses coming.

I actually like their most recent moves (the Sanchez/Infante, Ramirez, and Mujica deals). They've acquired a bunch of good, young, cheap players who are MLB-ready or close to weather the rest of Buehrle's and Reyes's backloaded deals. They should also have Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Jose Fernandez, and J.T. Realmuto arriving around the beginning of 2014, forming an outstanding young core along with Stanton, Eovaldi, Turner, etc.
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4202563)
They got their stadium with other people's money


They got their whole roster with other people's money.
   11. ColonelTom Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4202583)
three of their other position players (LoMo, Buck, and Gaby Sanchez) have hit somewhere around the 10th percentile on their PECOTA projections.


Morrison's about spot-on his 10th percentile - Buck and Sanchez are actually way below theirs.
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4202629)

+1.8, $17M - Reyes
+2.3, $15M - Buehrle
-0.7, $9M - Bell
-------------------------
+3.4, $41M - Total

vs.

+4.0, $24M - Pujols


WAR really dislikes Reyes' defense this year, but you're right that they would have been better off signing Pujols instead of those three. However, the Marlins were trying to sign Pujols *in addition* to those three. That deal may look ok this year but it will look pretty bad at some point.

Pujols, even with his mini slump, is just blowing away the Marlins' first base production. Hell, if they had signed Pujols and kept Willingham all these years they'd have a winning record and an outside shot at getting the 5th spot. Now if they hadn't gone out and got Ozzie who knows how many more wins that would have been.

Wow. The Marlins have gotten a .635 OPS from their first basemen this year. Maybe you're right--signing Pujols probably would have gotten them in playoff contention if not an outright playoff spot.
   13. JJ1986 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4202639)
I'm not sure anyone could have seen Morrison's and Sanchez's collapses coming.


Chris Coghlan could.
   14. ColonelTom Posted: August 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4202647)
Meanwhile, Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez is feeling heat, but (1) he's the son of Marlins Special Assistant to the President Tony Perez, and (2) Ozzie Guillen continues to defend him:

That’s a bunch of crap,” Guillen responded when asked if Perez might be the problem. “It’s funny how this game works. Nobody gives Eduardo any credit when we’re hitting; now we’re not hitting and it’s on him. Blame the players: They were good two weeks ago with the same hitting coach.”
   15. BWV 1129 Posted: August 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4202675)
At least they didn't sign Pujols -- even though he seems to have turned his season around.

That's a bit of an understatement. His OPS+ is up to 147.
   16. fra paolo Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4202707)
WAR really dislikes Reyes' defense this year, but you're right that they would have been better off signing Pujols instead of those three.

No metric seems to like Reyes' defence this year. Taking a minimum of 750 Innings at the postion, Reyes is at the bottom of the NL in BB-ref WAR and Dewan DRS. He's second from bottom for UZR.

His problem is compounded by him not hitting as well as he did last season, which might have made up for this year's fielding problems. His BB-ref rbat is 7, which in his league puts him below Ian Desmond, Jed Lowrie and, perhaps ironically, Ruben Tejada. He's still got fifty games to catch those chaps, though.
   17. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4202712)

His problem is compounded by him not hitting as well as he did last season, which might have made up for this year's fielding problems.

Like Pujols, Reyes has also turned things around quite a bit lately. He had a .714 OPS in the first half (.635 in March/April) and has a 1.026 in the second half.
   18. The District Attorney Posted: August 07, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4202728)
[Jose Reyes'] BB-ref rbat is 7, which in his league puts him below Ian Desmond, Jed Lowrie and, perhaps ironically, Ruben Tejada.
Also, there's a black fly in his chardonnay.
   19. KT's Pot Arb Posted: August 07, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4202750)
This story makes me so sad, sob.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4202812)
I didn't realize how backloaded those deals are. Buehrle is owed $48 mill over the next three years. The Marlins owe Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buerhle $45 million in 2014. They owe Buerhle and Reyes alone $42 mill in 2015. I guess Loria believed the Mayan calendar?
   21. AJMcCringleberry Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4202837)
I didn't realize how backloaded those deals are. Buehrle is owed $48 mill over the next three years. The Marlins owe Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buerhle $45 million in 2014. They owe Buerhle and Reyes alone $42 mill in 2015. I guess Loria believed the Mayan calendar?

I believe Carlos Delgado's deal was the same. Sign guys to big backloaded deals and trade them away when they make more than $100. Not a bad strategy.
   22. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4202847)
What a pathetic organization. I feel sorry for my son who is inevitably growing up a fan.
   23. fra paolo Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4202862)
I believe Carlos Delgado's deal was the same.

There's a lot about this season that resembles the Marlins' 2005, although their won/lost percentage is shaping up to be a lot worse. They thought they had a chance then, and when it didn't work out, they dumped everybody who wasn't young and was tradeable.

Compare BB-ref:

2005
c Lo Duca
1b Delgado
2b Castillo
3b Lowell
ss Gonzalez
lf Cabrera
cf Pierre
rf Encarnacion

2006
c Olivo
1b Jacobs
2b Uggla
3b Cabrera
ss Ramirez
lf Willingham
cf Abercrombie
rf Hermida
   24. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4202864)
What a pathetic organization. I feel sorry for my son who is inevitably growing up a fan.


At least you'll understand when he's taken away from you.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: August 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4202871)
What a pathetic organization. I feel sorry for my son who is inevitably growing up a fan.


You need to nip that in the bud. Tampa can't be that far off (yes it's the league that doesn't play baseball, but it's a close enough proximity to baseball, that it counts, and besides nobody should grow up a fan of anything tainted by Loria)
   26. Shock Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4202886)
I'm not sure anyone could have seen Morrison's and Sanchez's collapses coming.


I still say that Logan Morrison has been Ozzie Guillened, ala Adam Dunn and Nick Swisher.

I'm kind of amazed Ozzie still there, all things considered. The thought that teams won't fire a manager a few months into it doesn't apply to Loria/Marlins really.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4202896)
You need to nip that in the bud. Tampa can't be that far off


Good idea, being able to see the Yankees during spring training proved a lifelong inspiration to me.
   28. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 07, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4202908)
And the Marlins probably would have snared Pujols were it not for the club's blanket refusal to include even limited no-trade clauses into player contracts.
   29. The District Attorney Posted: August 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4202912)
You can't say that, though, because presumably they don't make him such a large offer to begin with if they know there will be no way out of having to pay the whole contract.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4203215)
Dreadful summer could lead to drastic changes for Marlins

The strong belief around the Marlins is that this season's failures will lead owner Jeffrey Loria to shake up his long-stable front office. The moves could be drastic, and could extend to the top of the team's baseball structure, where Larry Beinfest could be replaced.

Beinfest has run the baseball operations department for all 11 years that Loria has owned the Marlins, first as general manager and more recently as president, baseball operations.

Loria declined comment Tuesday. Samson would only say that "we're all worried [about jobs], and we should be."


I really wish John Brittain was still around for this.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 08, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4203319)

I'm kind of amazed Ozzie still there, all things considered. The thought that teams won't fire a manager a few months into it doesn't apply to Loria/Marlins really.

If you fire the manager, you have to pay a new manager.
   32. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4203341)
I believe Carlos Delgado's deal was the same. Sign guys to big backloaded deals and trade them away when they make more than $100. Not a bad strategy.

It was 4/46 (plus option), with $4MM in the first year. But the Marlins had to throw in $7MM when they traded him; other teams, even the Mets, aren't (complete) morons.
   33. fra paolo Posted: August 08, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4203359)
Beinfest has run the baseball operations department for all 11 years that Loria has owned the Marlins, first as general manager and more recently as president, baseball operations.


Beinfest quite possibly deserves to go. He largely inherited the team that won in 2003, but since the 2005 team was disassembled, he hasn't done that well. The Marlins have only had two winning seasons and no playoff appearances. It's easy enough to explain the difficulties away, but at some point one has to decide whether the time has come for some new faces at the top.

Of course, it might not be his fault. The article notes that some people believe Loria makes all the big player decisions, so it depends who argued for what. But some of these tycoons of the art industry aren't so keen to see Mr 'I told you so' sitting in meetings.
   34. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 13, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4301969)
I love it when a plan comes together.

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