How they got here:
The Marlins are one game past the halfway point and find themselves with a 39-43 record and in fourth in the National League East. This is where no Fish fan thought they would be when the season started. After a shaky offseason where owner Jeffrey Loria wanted to fire manager Fredi Gonzalez because the Marlins didn't make the playoffs in 2009, the season started off reasonably well. Nothing to write home about mind you, but the Marlins were 25-25 after the end of May. It didn't take much examination to notice that the bullpen was the weakness of the team. The starting pitchers were handing off leads to the bullpen and it was blowing them at a phenomenal pace. Then in early June the circus came to town. Loria finally got what he wanted and fired Fredi Gonzalez after the team had won 3 of 4 games. Loria wanted Bobby Valentine as the manager, but unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, he didn't have that secured before firing Fredi and the Marlins ownership ended up looking like the buffoons they are. So the ownership decided to stay with Edwin Rodriguez for the rest of the season. While it is not Edwin's fault the Marlins went into a tailspin, the decline was to be expected since the Marlins players enjoyed playing for Fredi and a somber haze fell over the clubhouse. The Marlins players are professionals and they are trying to rally back, but in baseball, it takes a lot of scratching and clawing to turn a season around.
This is a strange one to answer at the present moment. The Marlins bullpen sucks, but the best pitchers in the minors are all starters and the team, rightfully so, doesn't want to get them out of their starter routine. Then there is the outfield, where some of the best prospects in the outfield just aren't quite ready. Now, that has never stopped the Marlins from calling them up in the past. Examples: Cameron Maybin and Mike Stanton. But I doubt they will call up any more. The relief pitching may be rectified if Burke Badenhop and Dan Meyer can return to last year's form. Right now, both are in Triple-A and at this point neither are ready to do that, but Badenhop would be the front runner to be the first to rejoin the team. In the outfield, the Marlins are just going to have to suffer through and take whatever production they can get from the young ones they have on the 40-man.
The Marlins will be sellers at the trade deadline. The available names include:
Dan Uggla - he is getting very expensive by Marlins standards and the club will be looking to unload his salary.
Cody Ross - is a free agent at the end of the year and therefore he is gone.
Jorge Cantu - also a free agent the end of the year which means the Marlins will shop him too.
Not to mention the random members of the farm system who might be included to make the trades work.
If the Marlins do make the above trades, and they will try, expect to see them going for prospects and nothing more. Oh sure, they would like to get some ready for the majors prospects, but that is not a requirement. The Marlins will try to get the best young player available and it won't matter what position they play. Though I will say this: pitchers are always a plus when dealing with the Marlins.
In short, the Marlins are going to start unloading salary and hopefully getting younger, cheaper talent in return. It is what they do.
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