The New Marlins Start To Take Shape (Bell, Reyes, Ramirez, Buehrle)

The Marlins made one of the first major free agent signings of the off season this week by signing Heath Bell to a three year deal for about 27 million. This deal shows a few things:

1) The Marlins are Serious

2) The Marlins aren't done.

This signing shows how serious the Marlins are because of the length and money of the deal. That is a risky deal! The only way that makes logical sense is if you are going to surround Bell with other key pieces in order to win games. The Marlins already have a few big bats, probably only need one more, and they could use another starter. By going after Bell, they are starting to set themselves up for a big change in their starting players (and in my mind brings me back to the 05 and 06 Mets where they brought in Beltran, Pedro, Wagner and Delgado).

So what is next?

All signs point to the Mets and Marlins being in a the final run down for Reyes. It is unclear when the signing will happen, if Reyes wants to leave New York, if another team gets involved, and how far each team is willing to go. THe Marlins seemed enamored by Reyes. To Reyes, it seems like the Marlins are that risky decision that seems fun but not sure yet if it's right.

Here's the kicker. The Marlins need another bat, and they need it at 3B. If they signed Aramis Ramirez, they would achieve the same goal. Ramirez is not the same player as Reyes at all, but they would get another bat, and they wouldn't have to move Hanely. This is, of course, the lesser option since the Marlins are looking for a lead off hitter, something that Reyes is, and Aramis is clearly not.

Finally, the Marlins are trying to round of their rotation with another big star, Buehrle. The obstacle doesn't seem to be the money, for any of these players, (which honestly still shocks me, where we these Marlins the last several years) but rather is the no-trade clause, which goes back to this win now scenario. If they sign him without that clause, then they can win, and do a firesale, like they always seem to do. Obviously, signing a free agent these days without that clause is quite tricky.

It should be an interesting Winter Meetings with the Marlins trying to change their look.

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