There's less than three weeks left in the 2013 regular season, but it's never too late for the Miami Marlins to prepare for the offseason.
After all, the Marlins probably had an idea before the season started that the playoffs were probably not in the cards.
In fact, they should be used to this script by now, especially since they are headed toward their third consecutive last-place finish in the National League East. Moreover, the closest the Marlins have been to a playoff spot through September 12 in the last seven years was in 2009 when they were five games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the division lead and 5.5 games back of the Colorado Rockies in the wild-card race.
So, what will the Marlins do this offseason?
With owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots, anything can happen. Keep in mind, this is the franchise that has given us the following since 2005:
- In 2005, the Marlins traded away Josh Beckett, Luis Castillo, Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Mike Lowell, Guillermo Mota and Juan Pierre in five separate deals and let A.J. Burnett, Jeff Conine, Juan Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez and Todd Jones go via free agency.
"I'm glad I'm not down there any more. Fire sales are always tough," Burnett told the Associated Press after agreeing to a five-year, $55 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. "They'd better teach Dontrelle how to play all nine positions."
- In 2006, the Marlins fired Joe Girardi. All Girardi did was win 78 games, keep the Marlins in playoff contention (they were two games back of the San Diego Padres as of September 12) and win National League Manager of the Year.
- In 2007, the Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera was the 2012 American League Most Valuable Player after becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
- In 2011, the Marlins hired Ozzie Guillen as manager and signed Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle to long-term deals in anticipation of the grand opening of their brand new ballpark. Well, we know how that turned out because...
- In 2012, the Marlins fired Guillen and hired Mike Redmond to be the new manager. Furthermore, the Marlins dumped Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade, and later, the Marlins dismantled what's left of the roster when they shipped Reyes, Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio for seven players, none of whom has a big-money contract, to the Toronto Blue Jays in a 12-player fire sale trade.
Although there's still baseball left to be played, here are four early predictions as to what the Marlins will or won't do this offseason.