It's no secret that the Marlins have not performed to their expectations in 2011 after yet another spring training riddled of high hopes of making and exceeding in the postseason to drive momentum into the new ballpark in 2012. Now with a month left in the season, the Marlins are aiming for 2012 and hoping to spark a momentum with offseason moves.
The Marlins have a slew of injuries which began with outfielder Logan Morrison, who had a foot injury in early May. Then came pitcher Josh Johnson's shoulder strain in mid-May, followed by Hanley Ramirez's back strain in early June and Chris Coghlan's recurring knee troubles in June.
Now in September, the Marlins have been without Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate and Chris Coghlan for an extended period and their absences have been felt as the team is in the cellar of the NL East.
The poor season has shown the Marlins the lack of depth in their rotation all year (juggling acts with Clay Hensley, Brad Hand and other minor leaguers) and the Marlins have missed the experienced bat of Hanley Ramirez dearly (50-39 with him in lineup and 12-38 without him) despite his low numbers this year.
Owner Jeffrey Loria recently voiced his opinion in a Marlins telecast and said fans will be pleased with the team next season and according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Loria is prepared to "do what it takes" to upgrade the organization from top to bottom.
As of this moment, the payroll is already slated to be at $45 million with the contracts of Johnson, Ramirez, Buck, Choate and Nolasco in the books. If you take into consideration the contracts of current players under club control and those in store for an extension, it could stand at nearly $60 million with roughly $20-25 million left to spend after that if the Marlins stick with their guns on their earlier promises of a "middle of the pack" payroll.
With all that said and done, let's take a look at what the Marlins need to do this offseason in order to get back into contention in 2012.