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Marlins Will Have to Survive Without Giancarlo Stanton

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The Miami Marlins are currently battling a few teams for the second Wild Card spot in the National League. Unfortunately, the team won’t have their star slugging outfielder for the remainder of the season.

The Marlins placed Giancarlo Stanton on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a left groin strain. The injury was officially classified as a Grade 3 groin strain. Miami’s President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill stated that the earliest that they can expect Stanton back is in six weeks. This means that even if he is able to somehow comeback in 2016, it would be sometime during the last week of the season. Especially given his recent injury history, it would be surprising if he did return this year.

The loss of Stanton is a huge blow to the Marlins. Currently in a tight Wild Card race with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Mets, this was not an ideal time for Miami to lose their best player. The Marlins, Pirates, and Mets are all within four games of the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot in the NL. The road to the postseason just got a lot more difficult for the Marlins.

Before landing on the disabled list, Stanton was having a reasonably good year. In 381 at-bats, he was batting .244 with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs. He also had a .329 on-base percentage and a .496 slugging percentage. Two seasons ago, he hit .288 and had an NL-leading 37 homers while driving in 105 runs. He finished second in the NL MVP voting that year. Stanton is one of the most dangerous hitters in the MLB. He is considered by many to be the best power hitter in the game. Losing that threat in the lineup will definitely hurt the Marlins.

This is the third year in a row that Stanton’s season will be cut short due to an injury During a game in June of 2015, he broke the hamate bone in his left hand. This required season-ending surgery. His 2014 season ended after he was hit in the face with a pitch thrown by Mike Fiers of the Milwaukee Brewers. This was on September 11, and the resulting damage caused him to miss the rest of the year. Needless to say, Stanton has had a lot of bad luck over the last few years.

With Stanton out, veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will suddenly see a lot more playing time. He’ll now be Miami’s primary right fielder. Suzuki, 42, just recently collected his 3,000th career MLB hit. He’s hitting .313 in 230 at-bats this season. Although he certainly doesn’t have the power that Stanton has, he can still hit the ball well. Suzuki has always hit for average in his career. Additionally, he still has a lot of speed.

If the Marlins hope to make the playoffs, they’ll need guys like Ichiro, Marcell OzunaChristian Yelich, and Dee Gordon to continue to carry their lineup. They’re aslo going to need José  Fernandez to continue to be the dominant pitcher he’s been. It’s not going to be easy, but the team will have to live without Stanton.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly does not have an easy task ahead of him. His team is facing an uphill battle for a playoff spot without their star player. In the coming weeks, we’ll see if the Marlins have what it takes to survive.

Aspring sports broadcaster/writer. Freshman Television-Radio major at Ithaca College. Die-hard Mets, Giants, Nets, and Devils fan.

Miami Marlins

Derek Jeter Discusses Project Wolverine Plan For Miami Marlins

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Miami Marlins CEO and part-owner Derek Jeter has taking a beating publicly since taking over the team as fans have slammed the new regime for their cost-shedding moves.

However, Jeter sees the franchise becoming profitable as soon as this season, according to documents obtained by the Miami Herald.

Project Wolverine, a nod to Jeter’s native Michigan, is Jeter’s attempt to prove to potential investors that the franchise will turn a profit immediately.

How?

Decreased payroll coupled with increased revenue from ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and a revamped local TV deal, as well as a one-time payout of $50 million that each MLB franchise will receive this season, will carry the moribund franchise to profitability, according to the Miami Herald’s report.

The Marlins have shed $36 million from their 2018 payroll in the 1st phase of Project Wolverine.

“I can’t sit here and say trust me,” Jeter told Marlins fans during a heated and emotional town hall meeting back in December.

“You don’t know me. You earn trust over time. I know how organizations are sustainable over time. I know you have been through a lot. I can’t relate to it. It’s going to be a tough road. It’s going to take time and effort.”

The Herald outlines a number of hurdles that may stand in the way of Jeter’s lofty goals.

“We are going to invest in building this organization the right way so we can, year in and year out, be able to compete,” Jeter said back in December.

“We are trying to fix something that is broken.”

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Miami Marlins

Bashing Together In DC: The Nationals Should Go All-In For Stanton

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Since moving to Washington, D.C. the Nationals have been one of baseball’s more aggressive franchises.  Under the ownership of Ted Lerner they have never been shy about making the bold moves necessary to bring a winning team to the nation’s capital.

They have signed Max Scherzer to what was then the largest free agent contract ever given to a pitcher.

The handed Stephen Strasburg a $175 million extensions to avoid the open market and stay in D.C.

Along with everyone else they had on the books in 2017 the Nationals exceeded the luxury tax for the first time. 

And yet, NOW is the time for the franchise to go ALL-IN!

The upcoming season represents a make or break year for the franchise—or at least a transition year.  They have won 95+ games in four of the last six seasons, yet haven’t made it passed the division series.

The 2019 team could be vastly different.  They stand to lose several veterans including franchise player Bryce Harper, offensive standout Daniel Murphy, starter Gio Gonzalez, and shutdown setup reliever Ryan Madson to free agency.   

While the Nationals’ farm system is well-prepared to restock the major league team, prospects, no matter how highly touted, are never sure things.  Washington needs to operate as if 2018 is their best (and only) chance to win a World Championship. 

They need to cash in their chips, go all-in, and make the Marlins an offer they can’t refuse. 

The Nationals NEED to get Giancarlo Stanton. 

On the surface the idea seems ludicrous.  Trading for Stanton, especially from division rival Miami, would require a massive haul of prospects.  Washington would likely be able to hang onto prize prospect Victor Robles, but anyone else would be up for grabs for the Marlins.

Then there’s Stanton’s contract to consider.  His salary alone would blow their budget, pushing Washington deeper into the luxury tax than ever before.  It would be an extremely expensive transaction to make. 

But only for one year.  Following the 2018 season the Nationals clear more than $65 million from their books, and likely would escape from a third consecutive season. 

Nearly a third of those dollars belong to Harper, who undoubtedly will leave Washington for much greener pastures.  That is why acquiring Stanton NOW, despite all the hurdles, makes so much sense.  It would be a preemptive strike, aiming at keeping their window of contention wide-open.

Either Stanton or Harper can man left-field for a year, and together they could mash their way into bringing that elusive World Championship back the D.C.  Then when Harper leaves Stanton can slide into the face-of-the-franchise role.

It would be a huge risk.  It might backfire.  The cost in prospects is going to sting.  And for years the Nationals have been robbing Peter to pay Paul, deferring tens of millions of dollars.

Regardless of how their TV contract/lawsuits go, those bills are going to come do.  And it could bankrupt the franchise.  But that’s not enough of a reason to not bring the game’s best slugger to the nation’s capital. 

A parade down Pennsylvania Avenue would look pretty sweet next fall, and help everyone forget about the cost. 

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Derek Jeter Fronts Group Set To Purchase Miami Marlins

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As first reported by The Miami Herald on Friday, a source confirmed that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria agreed to sell the team to a group led by Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman for $1.2 billion.

Sherman, 69, is a wealthy New York businessman who’s building a home in South Florida. He’ll be the “control person” of the group while Jeter, 43, will serve as CEO running the business and baseball operations.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, 54, was reported to be another investor in the group—it’s no secret that him and Jeter are very close friends.

According to The Miami Herald, there are “about” 16 investors in the Jeter/Sherman group with Jeter “believed to be” contributing $25 million of his own money.

Loria, 76, has been the owner of the Marlins franchise since February 12, 2002. Since winning the 2003 World Series to Jeter and the New York Yankees, the team hasn’t made a single playoff appearance. In addition, they haven’t had a winning year since 2009.

The Miami Herald reported in December 2016 about Loria’s willingness to a potential sale. A purchase agreement with Jeter’s group was completed on Friday after several months and sent to the MLB offices in New York.

According to MLB.com, Loria’s preference from the beginning of the process was to complete the sale to a group that included Jeter.

A vote is the final step for completion of the sale, which is expected to take place in October between owners of other MLB teams.

What a big step this is for Jeter, as he joins a large and growing list of professional athletes turned owners. The future 2020 first-ballot MLB Hall of Famer—and possibly first ever unanimous vote to the Hall—can definitely turn this Marlins franchise around with the knowledge and experience he brings.

Jeter’s 3,465 career hits are the sixth most in Major League history, spanning a 20-year career with the Yankees from 1995-2014.

Here’s a look at his other Hall of Fame credentials:

Wikipedia screenshot

Will Jeter look to rebuild the Marlins, or build around a talented young core that includes the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna? It will be interesting to see what Jeter does with the franchise going forward.

With Monday night’s win, Miami improved to 57-60 on the year.

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