There are a lot of unknowns going into year two at Marlins Park. The offseason spending spree and added attention they put themselves in during the winter meetings ended up being a huge mistake.
Likely to finish in last place in the NL East this season, the Marlins will face huge pressure going into next year. The fanbase will want the team to reinvest the money they saved from shipping off Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.
It will be interesting to see who will be making the moves considering many want to shake up the front office and get rid of general manager Larry Beinfest, who accepted criticism for the failure of this season in a recent radio interview on Miami sports talk 790 The Ticket.
In the interview, Beinfest stated:
"When you sign up for this job and you don’t win, you know you can be in the crosshairs and you can lose your job. That’s just the way it is. The blame and disappointment and all those things fall squarely on my shoulders, and I fully understand that."
Ozzie Guillen hopes to be back next season and has said the lineup may look entirely different. Guillen has toyed with the idea of moving Jose Reyes to third in the lineup, hitting in front of Giancarlo Stanton.
In offering an idea of what the heart of the lineup may look like going into next season, Guillen offered the following on MLB.com:
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"Reyes has been a leadoff hitter his entire life. In my opinion, I think he fits us good as a third hitter. He's a free swinger. In the meanwhile, he can put the ball in play. And on top of that, he is not afraid to drive a run in. Who is going to be behind Stanton? We will wait and see. But for sure, those guys are going to be the third and fourth hitters next year."
Assuming the Marlins won't throw money around as recklessly as they did last year, they may limit themselves to who they offer a big contract to.
Miami will likely end up keeping young C Rob Brantly, who has been hitting tremendously as of late, Justin Ruggiano and Logan Morrison. They will likely let Carlos Lee walk and move Morrison to 1B.
What will Miami do with Emilio Bonifacio and Donovan Solano? Are there any marquee free-agents the Marlins might go after?
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports offered his insight by saying:
"The Miami Marlins' preliminary plan for 2013 is to keep Emilio Bonifacio in center field, play Donovan Solano at second and make the acquisition of a third baseman their top priority."
With the ability to acquire a top-notch 3B such as David Wright this offseason, Rosenthal continued:
"So, one alternative for the Marlins is to acquire an outfielder and move Bonifacio back to third base. B.J. Upton would be one possibility as a free agent. Upton’s brother, Justin, meanwhile, could be an option in a trade."
Being able to lure either of the Upton brothers would really ease the tension of Marlins fans after their supposed fire-sale at the trade deadline.
Keeping all that in mind, here is a prediction of what the Miami Marlins lineup may look like in 2013.
3B Emilio Bonifacio
CF B.J. Upton
SS Jose Reyes
RF Giancarlo Stanton
1B Logan Morrison
LF Justin Ruggiano
2B Donovan Solano
C Rob Brantly