This offseason, the Miami Marlins transformed themselves from one of the notoriously cheap teams into one of the league's biggest spenders.
After outbidding most of the big market teams, the Marlins lured down numerous prized free agents including Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, questioning the Marlins' antics and whether or not the seemingly reckless spending would result in a fire sale a few years down the road.
One of the bigger names projected to hit free agency next year is San Francisco Giants SP Matt Cain. While the Giants have stated they are working on an extension for the pitcher, it's hard to believe Cain won't test the free agent market.
The top ranked pitchers in this free agent class both signed lucrative, long-term deals.
C.J. Wilson signed for $77.5 million with the Angels and Yu Darvish received around $60 million from the Rangers. The Giants just gave Tim Lincecum a two-year, $40.5 million deal and have apparently failed to make progress on a new deal for Cain.
Even with a solid top of the rotation that includes Josh Johnson and Buehrle, the Marlins may certainly be in the mix for Cain if he doesn't agree on an extension with the Giants.
If the new ballpark brings in the type of revenue the team and ownership believe it can, Miami may have the funds to go out and spend in similar fashion next offseason—the team spent $191 million on Reyes, Bell and Buehrle alone this offseason.
If Cain is seeking a long-term contract with in the range of $20 million a year, look for the Marlins to offer it to him. He's played over 200 innings in each of the last five seasons and has a career 3.35 ERA. At 28 years old, Cain will be set to enter free agency right in the middle of his prime.
A combination of Josh Johnson and Matt Cain at the top of your rotation could rank towards the top in the National League and something the Marlins may not want to pass on.