Daily Archives: December 6, 2012
Thursday, December.6, 2012
Nicholas Rossoletti (Guest Baseball Writer and Marlins Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
Coming into the 2012 season, the Miami Marlins were entering a new stage in their franchise history. The City of Miami had graciously (and according to some residents, foolishly) provided the organization with a new 600 million dollar home in the New Marlins Ball Park. The franchise changed its name to Miami instead of Florida, its colors and albeit briefly, its spending habits in the free agent market. The Marlins decided to build on the foundation of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. As most know, when building a championship contender it is of crucial importance that the foundation is solid. This foundation was anything but. Despite the numerous question marks surrounding a Marlins team that won 72 games in 2011, the Marlins went out and spent money in the Free Agent market in a way that had not been seen in South Florida since 1997.
The organization placed expensive brick after expensive brick on top of this foundation refusing to see the glaring cracks developing across the surface. The ace, Josh Johnson, was coming off a shoulder injury that cost him all but 60 innings in 2011. The star offensive player, Ramirez, had not produced at “star” level in two seasons. Ramirez had produced back to back seasons of adding 7 wins to the team in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Ramirez posted a WAR of 4.6 and in 2011 a WAR of 1.3. At best, Hanley was a player with huge question marks. Needless to say, it was a strange decision to spend money to add to this group instead of questioning whether this group should be sold off for spare parts and the foundation re-poured. We all know how this ended. In another excruciating fire sale by the franchise who knows little else. And now we are left, the residents of South Florida with a monstrous stadium, an eyesore of a statute in Centerfield and little hope for the future…. or are we?
Thursday December 6th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
Russell Martin recently signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for a two-year deal worth $17 million—a bit much for a just-above-decent aging catcher. Unfortunately for the Pirates, if they want to sign a free agent, they will most likely have to overpay. This was not the worst deal in the world, for Martin is better than any catcher the Pirates have had in the last few years, but is he really worth an average of $8.5 million a year? I don’t think so. The Pirates have been in contention up until the Trading Deadline the last two years, so maybe they think Martin will make the difference.
Martin, over his seven year career, is a .260 hitter. Just about the major league average. For a catcher, .260 is not terrible. .260 could be just what the Pirates need in their lineup. From 2008-2011, Ryan Doumit was the Pirates’ primary catcher. He was on and off, hitting .318 in 2008 and .303 in 2011, but also hitting .250 and .251 in 2009 and 2010. Last year’s catcher Rod Barajas did not exactly cut it. He hit .206 with only 11 home runs and 31 RBI. Last year, Pirates catchers spent most of their time in the 6-7 hole of the lineup. Martin will fit nicely here and will have occasional opportunities to drive in Andrew McCutchen. Martin’s primary job will to drive in the leftovers from the top/middle of the lineup and to get in scoring position for the bottom of the lineup. I can’t see Martin as a 4-5 hitter due to his relatively low career average (the Pirates will not be able to trust him with driving in McCutchen). Read the rest of this entry