As part of the Yankee offseason or lack of offseason for the time being, we wanted to talk with some of the big winners from the Winter Meetings in Dallas. First up, we have Ehsan Kassim, a writer at Marlin Maniac to talk about Miami’s new logo, big moves, and new expectations for the 2012 season.
You can follow Ehsan on Twitter: @ek2MarlinManiac
A. I'll start with the Heath Bell signing. I like Bell, he seems like a cool dude. He is a good pitcher, in fact an elite one. With that said, I think the Marlins grossly overpaid for a closer. I personally thought that the Marlins could have got the same production from relief pitchers Edward Mujica or Steve Cishek for a fraction of the cost. I was excited that the Marlins were actually spending money though. Though I am not overpaying a closer, it sent a clear message to the rest of the MLB and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Jose Reyes is a guy that I have been cheering for the Marlins to go after since the season ended. Reyes is an elite player when healthy. That is the risk the Marlins took however, Reyes has spent a lot of time on the DL the past 3 seasons. The Marlins are hoping that a move to a warm climate, as well as a domed stadium with a constant temperature helps out Reyes' hamstring issues. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. The Marlins are banking that Reyes' reward outweights the $106 million risk that they took on him. I am not going to lie, I would have preferred to be talking about C.J. Wilson here. I have been a huge advocate of the Marlins signing him since early September. Wilson, in my eyes, has ace type stuff. This is no knock on Buehrle,who has been the model of consistent in his 12 major league seasons. Buehrle will be a great addition to the Marlins rotation, which could be among the best if Josh Johnson is able to stay healthy in 2012. That is a big "if" though. Of the three, I think the safest has to be Buehrle. As he ages, he should regress, but I highly doubt his regression will be bad enough that it will make him a below average pitcher. Buehrle should also benefit from pitching in a weaker hitting league. The riskiest contract is obviously the biggest contract the Marlins gave out. Reyes' contract is the largest in Marlins history. If Reyes' works out, he will be the best of all the Marlins free agent finds.
2. There were reports that the Fish offered Albert Pujols a 10 years, $275 million+ contract. If Pujols would have taken that deal, what kind of impact would have he had and would Loria have regretted making that deal?
A. If Albert Pujols accepted the Marlins offer, I would be hysterically mad right now to be honest. The report by Nightengale is that the Marlins offer to Pujols was 10 years at $275 million. With incentives and Florida's lack of income tax, the total would have come out to $300 million. That is way too much. I do not care how good Pujols has been in the past. Contracts should be awarded based on what the player will do in the future. If the Marlins did sign Pujols, I have no doubt that Loria would be regretting the move for a long time. Especially when he would likely become bankrupt.
3. How will all these moves affect the young players like a Hanley Ramirez? Do you think this guy can change his attitude in order to win for the team?
A. I think the attitude problems of Hanley Ramirez are a little overblown. If you go talk to former Marlins Dan Uggla and Wes Helms, they would tell you that he is a great young kid. His problem is sometimes he does not play as hard as he should. People compare his problems to Manny Ramirez's, it is not even close. Hanley is going to be fine. He is upset at the prospect of switching positions, and I do not blame him. I would be mad if someone else told me "you are not good enough to play a position, so we are bring someone else in." However, the Marlins have the perfect manager that will massage Hanley's ego and the Marlins will have a great partnership with Reyes and Ramirez. You can take that to the bank. And if you see Harold Reynolds, please punch him in the face for me.