Leading up to the start of the 2010 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s team is the Florida Marlins. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers will preview every team division by division until the start of the regular season.
The Florida Marlins are the epitome of ‘under the radar’
Did anyone notice last season that the Florida Marlins finished second in the National League East? Their 87 wins were the most the Marlins have ever posted in a season that they did not win the World Series.
They’re not without some really nice pieces.
The have one of the most dynamic players in the National League and maybe all of Major League Baseball in Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez enters the second season of a six-year, $70 million extension signed back in May of 2008. He might be baseball’s best bet for the next 40/40 man, and a perennial MVP candidate if the Marlins are in the thick of things as they figure to be.
Ace right-hander Josh Johnson comes into the season with a new four-year, $39 million deal that he signed this offseason. Even second baseman Dan Uggla–who was thought to be traded this winter because of arbitration–is in the fold for another season after he inked a one-year deal in January that will pay him $7.8 million this season.
The Marlins will need youthful contributions from guys like 22-year old Cameron Maybin who will play center field and Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan in left field.
Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, and Chirs Volstad round out a really nice young rotation that’s pretty underrated.
Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross are a couple of veterans the Marlins have received significant production from in the past few seasons.
Overall, this team will be in the thick of things but might not be heavily armed enough to challenge the Phillies and lack the manager that the Braves do; but it should be another competitive season in Miami and if a few things go right (or things go wrong for their divisional foes) the Marlins could once again be the cinderella team in baseball, a role they’ve played several times before.