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My actual opinion on 2009


Erick
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I think Jorge Cantu (not Dan Uggla) is gone. I think you're going to being seeing more of Wes Helms than you think. I think it's foolish to think with the "limited payroll" the Marlins have, that they'd pay Wes Helms the amount of money they did (for not 1, but 2 years) to just sit on the bench and pinch-hit / come in as a defensive replacement, every once in awhile. I think Cantu is gone, and what we're going to see (not saying I like it) is Gaby Sanchez playing 1B...and Dallas McPherson and Wes Helms platooning at 3B.

 

I think the front office has taken this whole pitching and defense thing...kinda to the extreme. Why else would they trade a 24 year old lefty, semi-proven in the big leagues (whether you fail to admit it or not...those aren't easy to find) + an OF'er capable of producing solid #'s, if he can stay healthy (note, "Hammer" looked like "Hammer" again in September) for a Bonifacio, who really just projects to be a utility player? In other words, a guy who can improve the defense anywhere you put him, late in the game?

 

It was clear that the Marlins could afford to let Olsen and Willingham go...we're just surprised at the return, obviously.

 

Regardless, I think you're gonna see this:

C - John Baker / RH hitting catcher who can provide solid defense (I'm with Rab on this one now...I'd like Brad Ausmus)

1B - Gaby Sanchez

2B - Dan Uggla

3B - Dallas McPherson (hopefully producing Mike Jacobs type #'s with a slightly better .OBP and better defense, of course) / Wes Helms (D-Mc against righties...Helms against lefties, hoping that he goes back to the Wes Helms of a couple years ago)

SS - Hanley

LF - Cody Ross

CF - Cameron Maybin

RF - Jeremy Hermida

(4th OF'er...a guy like Rocco Baldelli to sign? Perhaps they stay within the organization and you see a John Raynor sighting for this role)

 

SP - Nolasco, JJ, Volstad, Miller, Sanchez

 

And then you got your relievers...Lindstrom, Nunez, Pinto, Nelson, (insert whoever you'd like afterwards...a battle in Spring Training).

 

And then you got guys like Bonifacio & Andino off the bench. (Again, I'm fairly certain that the Marlins don't sign Amezaga for about a mill a year to play a role that two other guys on the team can probably play, at this point).

 

I guess you also have to consider the Kevin Gregg trade...and if they let go of Cantu (as I think they will), I'm pretty sure they'll try and trade him, as well. I'm not sure what Kevin Gregg would bring back in return, simply b/c I would expect Olsen by himself would bring back more in a deal...but I guess you never really know what kinds of deals teams are willing to make. If the Marlins can wait until KRod and Fuentes sign somewhere, you'd still have about a handful of other teams who would want a closer (or a guy who has closed, before), so the return for Gregg could be fairly nice.

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And then you got your relievers...Lindstrom, Nunez, Pinto, Nelson, (insert whoever you'd like afterwards...a battle in Spring Training).

It's important to note Kensing, Cruz, J. Delgado, and Meyer are out of options. They have a strong heads up on the competition. Especially Cruz because he has the most upside, and all Meyer has to do is beat out Tank for the 2nd lefty spot.

 

No chance Ausmus signs here.

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I think Jorge Cantu (not Dan Uggla) is gone. I think you're going to being seeing more of Wes Helms than you think. I think it's foolish to think with the "limited payroll" the Marlins have, that they'd pay Wes Helms the amount of money they did (for not 1, but 2 years) to just sit on the bench and pinch-hit / come in as a defensive replacement, every once in awhile. I think Cantu is gone, and what we're going to see (not saying I like it) is Gaby Sanchez playing 1B...and Dallas McPherson and Wes Helms platooning at 3B.

 

I think the front office has taken this whole pitching and defense thing...kinda to the extreme. Why else would they trade a 24 year old lefty, semi-proven in the big leagues (whether you fail to admit it or not...those aren't easy to find) + an OF'er capable of producing solid #'s, if he can stay healthy (note, "Hammer" looked like "Hammer" again in September) for a Bonifacio, who really just projects to be a utility player? In other words, a guy who can improve the defense anywhere you put him, late in the game?

 

It was clear that the Marlins could afford to let Olsen and Willingham go...we're just surprised at the return, obviously.

 

Regardless, I think you're gonna see this:

C - John Baker / RH hitting catcher who can provide solid defense (I'm with Rab on this one now...I'd like Brad Ausmus)

1B - Gaby Sanchez

2B - Dan Uggla

3B - Dallas McPherson (hopefully producing Mike Jacobs type #'s with a slightly better .OBP and better defense, of course) / Wes Helms (D-Mc against righties...Helms against lefties, hoping that he goes back to the Wes Helms of a couple years ago)

SS - Hanley

LF - Cody Ross

CF - Cameron Maybin

RF - Jeremy Hermida

(4th OF'er...a guy like Rocco Baldelli to sign? Perhaps they stay within the organization and you see a John Raynor sighting for this role)

 

SP - Nolasco, JJ, Volstad, Miller, Sanchez

 

And then you got your relievers...Lindstrom, Nunez, Pinto, Nelson, (insert whoever you'd like afterwards...a battle in Spring Training).

 

And then you got guys like Bonifacio & Andino off the bench. (Again, I'm fairly certain that the Marlins don't sign Amezaga for about a mill a year to play a role that two other guys on the team can probably play, at this point).

 

I guess you also have to consider the Kevin Gregg trade...and if they let go of Cantu (as I think they will), I'm pretty sure they'll try and trade him, as well. I'm not sure what Kevin Gregg would bring back in return, simply b/c I would expect Olsen by himself would bring back more in a deal...but I guess you never really know what kinds of deals teams are willing to make. If the Marlins can wait until KRod and Fuentes sign somewhere, you'd still have about a handful of other teams who would want a closer (or a guy who has closed, before), so the return for Gregg could be fairly nice.

 

Erick, I think this is accurate. As for nitpicking, I hope they put Hermida in LF and Cody in RF, but I don't know if that will happen.

But, I've been leading toward trading Cantu, instead of trading Uggla, as well. According to Lou's payroll figures, actually have Cantu making 100k more than Dan Uggla. And Uggla is a better hitter and a better fielder, and his value as a 2B is much greater than Cantu's as a 3B/1B.

 

Also, moving Cantu now is the epitome of buying low and selling high.

 

Interestingly, his OPS was .808 both in his previous best year (2005) and this year.

[As an aside, I don't know why the Reds didn't hang on to him after 2007 (.298/.382/.873 in 64 PA with 7BB/10k - a small sample, I know, but it seemed like he might have been on his way back even then).]

 

I admit not having a huge understanding of his peripherals, although I understand his BABIP of .297 means he seemingly wasn't too luck, or too unlucky. Either way, as a fan who watched all the games, my feeling is that I don't see him improving that much over last season.

I think he had a great year, but aside from maybe cutting down the Ks and taking a few more walks, I just felt like he was pretty much at his ceiling.

 

Watching him all year, he felt like a more than .808 OPS guy, so people will probably be disappointed with the haul he actually brings back, as well. Hopefully some GM out there sees him as a "clutch hitter" with improving defense, versatility (1B/3B), and a young guy under team control with a chance to improve.

(I probably only agree with the versatility and team control parts, but hopefully someone else will think more highly of the guy.)

 

All that being said, Helms is .819 OPS career vs. LHP, and conventional wisdom is that Dallas with mash righties, so that platoon could be rather potent. And if DMac can play some first base, he can spell Gaby a bit so we can ease him into things a bit more (maybe).

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For the record, a DMac/Helms platoon could be better than All-Cantu and better than a DMac/Cantu platoon (at 3rd base - I'm not necessarily considering Gaby in this equation).

 

Here's why:

Cantu's LHP/RHP career splits......

vs. LHP: .269/.313/.773

vs. RHP: .277/.318/.779

 

He's basically the same hitter against either righties or southpaws.

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And then you got your relievers...Lindstrom, Nunez, Pinto, Nelson, (insert whoever you'd like afterwards...a battle in Spring Training).

It's important to note Kensing, Cruz, J. Delgado, and Meyer are out of options. They have a strong heads up on the competition. Especially Cruz because he has the most upside, and all Meyer has to do is beat out Tank for the 2nd lefty spot.

 

No chance Ausmus signs here.

I've always stated Ausmus was more of a wish than an expectation.

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