The start of the Peter Bendix era in Miami is underway. After the departure of Kim Ng following the decline of her option, and a difference in philosophies going forward, the Marlins hired the former Ray executive as their new President of Baseball Operations.
Since he was given the reigns, he has made a handful of moves towards revamping the Marlins organization. It began with a deal involving his former employer, the Tampa Bay Rays, in a deal that sent two prospects and a player to be named later for former top prospect Vidal Brujan and right-handed reliever Calvin Faucher. Following that trade, Bendix made a deal with the Cleveland Guardians to acquire their new starting catcher Christian Bethancourt.
Now that the dust has settled following the Winter Meetings in Nashville, we are hearing rumors surrounding players on the Marlins roster, most notably Jesus Luzardo, who has been mentioned in trades with multiple teams. The rumor that begs the following question surrounded a swap of the Marlins left-hander to the Kansas City Royals for first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino.
The question now is, will Peter Bendix now look to revamp the Marlins organization and restart what looked like the beginning of a promising run with their core following a season in which they surprised many and made the playoffs?
Knowing the organization that Bendix is coming from, that would not be a surprise. The Rays are known for keeping their payroll low and maximizing their talent through their strong development system. We have already seen changes in the Marlins Baseball Operations department with the removal of D.J. Svihlik, former Director of Player Development, and the additions of Giants former manager Gabe Kapler as their new Assistant General Manager, Frankie Piliere as the Director of Amateur Scouting, and Vinesh Kanthan as the new Director of Baseball Operations.
With the shakeup likely to continue over the next couple of weeks, what is the new brass looking to do with the current roster?
The Marlins have done a good job in revamping their roster from middling to competitive in the short time that Kim Ng was in charge. The Pablo Lopez for Luis Arraez trade started about just as perfect as anyone could have envisioned.
Arraez gave the spark to their lineup that led them to make the Jake Burger and Josh Bell moves at the deadline to make the push to secure their playoff spot. With minimal departures this offseason, the Marlins, led by NL Manager of the Year Skip Schumaker, are looking to continue building off of last season’s success.
However, the decision to further push the chips in for 2024 was likely adjusted when former Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara announced that he would be missing the 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery at the end of last season. Long-time Marlins fans are likely numb to the following sentence at this point, but another revamp of the roster is looking like a true possibility for the Bendix-led Marlins.
What’s Next and Who Could Be Out of the Door?
As previously mentioned, the Rays have always been known to “Ray.”
Knowing this, Peter Bendix is likely going to look to build up the Marlins farm system through cost-efficient trades, analytically-driven drafting, and top-tier player development. While a total firesale is not likely to occur, trading players who are at peak value, prior to having to pay them, is definitely in the cards.
Players like Jesus Luzardo, Tanner Scott, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Edward Cabrera, and even Luis Arraez fit the bill. While some of those player mentioned still have multiple years of control, their arbitration process is going to begin soon.
Tanner Scott is the outlier that is currently in his final year of team control but, coming off such a strong 2023 season, there are going to be multiple teams calling for him if they aren’t already.
While it might not seem logical, the success of the Rays over the past seasons makes you wonder if maybe it is the way the Marlins need to go now. There are still holes on the current roster that need to be filled heading into the new season. The next few weeks are going to be telling and the next few moves made will likely determine the path they are currently looking to go for it.
With the Rays, you likely throw common sense out of the door, but it seems to work nine times out of 10. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but I believe Marlins fans should trust the new approach that Peter Bendix is going to bring with him. He is building a strong core around him in the Front Office and, in due time, the organization will reap the rewards.