After its second disastrous season at Marlins Park, the Miami Marlins are standing on a crossroad of two paths.
On one path, the franchise knows about a series of players that will be earning more money. It is presumed that the team will stay in the bottom of the MLB salary rank with a $38 millions payroll. But how to keep this budget when some key players will see a huge salary increase?
For example, Giancarlo Stanton will see his check jumping from $537,000 close to $5 million. His salary will go through an arbitration process that will guarantee that amount regardless of his disappointing season.
The other key player is Steve Cishek, whose salary seemingly will be boosted from $505,000 to $3-plus million. He had a great 2013, breaking the Marlins record of 28 consecutive saves of Todd Jones. Cishek has the streak alive with 29 consecutive saves.
Additionally, Kevin Slowey, Justin Ruggiano, Logan Morrison and Ryan Webb will check each almost $2 million next season; the numbers just don’t add up.
The other path, the Marlins may go on an avenue called Jose Dariel Abreu, the Cuban first baseman slugger who just became a free agent after escaping the island in August.
If the team signs him, the team will add a piece that will put them in the race for the division next year. Yes, they will be considered a very dangerous team.
This means the Marlins may have to trade Morrison, or maybe not, because it has been speculated that Abreu can play third base so the team keeps his left bat.
Abreu means big money, and it will be the sign that the Marlins front office will try to reenergize the spirit of 2012 preseason.
If the Marlins can’t sign Abreu?
The Marlins will keep the $38 million range, maybe a little more. They will give Morrison another opportunity at first, and Stanton will be the key figure at bat. The others will be presumably heading north, being Cishek and his $3-plus million, the big fish in this offseason to be traded since the Marlins have an arsenal of strong arms in their farm system ready for the job.
It all depends if Abreu decides, or not, to go on Marlins Way.