The Miami Marlins finished fourth in the National League East in 2021, with a 67-95 record.
It’s a disappointing result for a team that made the playoffs in 2020 (under totally different circumstances, however) but there are reasons to be optimistic about what’s to come.
The Marlins are a young, up-and-coming group of talented players who are hungry for more.
The front office is working hard to find good players that can fit the budget.
The early results are promising.
Here are three reasons why fans need to stay optimistic about the Marlins’ 2022 outlook.
3. They Have Been Far More Active Than Usual
The Marlins have known for months that they need to improve their offense if they want to compete in 2022.
They ranked 29th in MLB in runs scored per game, with just 3.8, 28th in home runs with 158, and 29th in OPS with .670.
In other words, they were not only below-average: they were downright bad.
Thankfully, the organization has recognized this and moved to improve during the offseason.
They upgraded at the catcher position, bringing in Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Stallings is a solid starting catcher, with slightly below-average offense (.246/.335/.369, eight homers and 53 RBI in 112 games) and elite defense behind the plate.
They also signed Avisail Garcia to play right field.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 28, 2021
Garcia had one the best seasons of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, slashing .262/.330/.490 with 29 homers and 86 RBI.
Miami also traded for Joey Wendle, a former Tampa Bay Rays infielder.
Wendle slashed .265/.319/.422 with 11 homers, eight steals, and can play all around the diamond.
The Marlins, slowly but surely, have improved their offense.
2. They Have Excellent Pitching Depth
There may not be a team in MLB with the sort of quality pitching depth the Marlins have.
They have three studs at the top of the rotation, and one was recently extended: Sandy Alcantara and his 3.19 ERA in 205.2 innings in 2021.
After that, Miami has a myriad of capable arms to compete for the two remaining rotation spots and provide extra depth after that.
Elieser Hernandez, Jesus Luzardo, Sixto Sanchez, Nick Neidert, Braxton Garrett, and Edward Cabrera are all extremely talented and with major league experience; while Max Meyer is waiting in the wings.
There is a lot of pitching talent in Miami.
1. There Is Still Time To Make Some More Moves
The Marlins were able to achieve a lot pre-lockout.
However, once the lockout is lifted, they will go back to the market, as they need to finish out the roster.
They are reportedly looking for another outfielder, and they dream about Nick Castellanos.
Free agent Nick Castellanos is drawing interest from the #Marlins and #SFGiants, among others, as I reported a short time ago on @MLBNetwork. Castellanos, 29, is a graduate of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Fla., about 25 miles from LoanDepot Park. @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 18, 2021
Castellanos could take the Marlins offense to the next level, but he is expected to be out of their price range.
If that’s the case, Miami could pivot to Eddie Rosario.
Additionally, the franchise is interested in Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder/second baseman Ketel Marte via trade.
The Marlins don’t have a lot of money to spend, but they do have lots of trade pieces, so it could make sense.
They need more, though, and they will work to bring in the necessary talent to return to the postseason.