It is safe to say that the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins will not be very competitive in 2018 or the near future. The only competitiveness by these teams will be, which one is a bigger dumpster fire in the state of Florida.
The Marlins came out of the gates with the early lead by trading their franchise player in Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees and speedy second basemen Dee Gordon to the Mariners. However, the Rays countered by trading Evan Longoria, who is the best player in their franchise history.
Next, the Marlins decided to trade the rest of their outfield. Marcel Ozuna was traded to the Cardinals and Christian Yellich to the Brewers. But in the past few days, the Rays have been trying to give the Marlins a run for their money. They traded Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, Steven Souza to Arizona, and topped it off with releasing All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson.
Now after all these trades, it brings us to the question of why did both teams decide to trade everyone and where did things go wrong?
The Rays and Marlins were not terrible in 2017 and actually had a decent core to build around. Gordon, Stanton, Ozuna, Yellich, and J.T. Realmuto is a pretty good lineup. Yes, Realmuto is still on the team, but he is destined to be traded at some point. The Rays had Longoria, Souza, Dickerson, Logan Morrison, and Wilson Ramos.
In my opinion, the Marlins started to go south after the tragic death of Jose Fernandez. He was one of the most exciting pitchers to watch and was easily top-five in baseball. Since his death, the Marlins have lacked an ace pitcher and it really hurt them in 2017. Obviously with Miami being a small market team, it was tough for them to outbid a team for a top starting pitcher. With the Marlins not having great pitching, they would hover around .500 each season.
This now brings us to the new ownership with Derek Jeter. It is clear the main focus was to clear payroll with the trades they made. The new ownership wants to start from complete scratch and show they can build a winning team. Derek Jeter was once a part of a young core and won multiple World Series with the Yankees. It seems as if that the new ownership will try to replicate the Yankees’ formula in Miami. `
Now it’s time to move onto the Rays.
Tampa Bay had a great run from 2008-2013 and it included four trips to the postseason and even a World Series loss to the Phillies. However, for the past four seasons, the rays have been under .500. It is clear they have decided it’s time to start over and we could start seeing some seasons that resemble the Devil Rays.
Of course, fans don’t want to hear that, but history shows that it worked for the Rays. They went from a team who consistently came in last place to a contender for a six-year period. It also doesn’t help that the Yankees seem to be back and the Red Sox are still a very good team.
It may be a few long years, but both franchises seem to have a plan, hopefully. And here is one last prediction to leave you with. The Marlins will still be in Miami, but the Rays will be in Montreal or Nashville the next time they make the postseason.