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Imagine if the Marlins had any chance of acquiring a free agent such as second baseman Robinson Cano. While the club isn't looking to make a huge splash, it needs to set itself up for when that day arrives, and that means being a serious bidder for some of the prominent free agents in this year's market.
The Marlins should call Jay Z's sports agency, Roc Nation, and inquire about what it would take to sign second baseman Robinson Cano.
The Marlins should also give Scott Boras a ring and ask if Jacoby Ellsbury would want to replicate the worst-to-World Series champion journey, but this time with the Marlins.
The Marlins should also buzz Ricky Nolasco and see if he's willing to return to Miami. On second thought, scratch that.
Basically, it's the 2011 offseason all over again. You know, the one where the Marlins signed Bell, Reyes and nearly Albert Pujols before settling on Mark Buehrle. The Marlins failed to sign Pujols because the club’s 10-year offer did not include a no-trade clause.
Ok, it will probably be a long shot for Loria and the Marlins to replicate the 2011 offseason. However, if the Marlins are smart and they plan to be World Series champions before the end of the decade, it might be wise for them to start laying the groundwork.
While building from within is the prudent way to go, at some point, the Marlins will need to bring in major free agents to put them over the top.
In 2003, the Marlins snatched Pudge Rodriguez with a one-year, $10 million deal. All the Marlins did was win the World Series that year.
Two years later, the Marlins kept the championship window open by signing first baseman Carlos Delgado to a four-year, $52 million contract. Unfortunately, Delgado was traded to the New York Mets at the end of the season after the Marlins finished 83-79 and decided to blow the roster up.
Outside of the guys mentioned earlier—Navarro, Hart, Loney, maybe Uribe—the Marlins should make serious offers to prospective free agents who did not receive a qualifying offer. If the Marlins submit the winning bid, like they did when they won the chase for Delgado, which the Sun-Sentinel's Juan C. Rodriguez chronicled in detail here, then they got themselves a marquee free agent to pair with this young, improving team. If the Marlins' bid isn't good enough, then what did they lose actually? The answer is nothing.
If anything, the Marlins should go after some of the higher-priced free agents with the same zeal they had when they went shopping for Jose Dariel Abreu. As you may recall, the Chicago White Sox signed Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract last month. The Marlins bowed out of the bidding when it went north of $60 million, Frisaro tweeted. Rosenthal also tweeted four clubs submitted bids between $63 and $66 million.
The Marlins should be able to sign a $10 million-a-year player thanks to the new TV contract that will kick in beginning in the 2014 season.
Back in 2012, ESPN renewed their contract with Major League Baseball to the tune of $5.6 billion for eight years. FOX and Turner Sports followed suit as FOX paid $4 billion for eight years while Turner Sports chipped in $2.8 billion, also for eight years. That's basically $12.4 billion, which is $1.55 billion per year. Split the $1.55 billion among 30 teams and it equates to roughly $51.6 million.
Throw in the Marlins local TV deal, which the Sun-Sentinel believes to be in the $16 million-$18 million range, and it means the Marlins will rake in about $70 million just in TV revenue alone.
Considering the Marlins payroll is expected to be $38 million without any major additions, why can't the Marlins sign a higher-priced free agent?
Among players whom the Marlins should inquire about, within reason, are Matt Garza, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jhonny Peralta, Scott Feldman and Scott Kazmir.