Meet your new and improved 2014 Miami Marlins! Now with 100 percent less Logan Morrison but the same great taste!
The good news is that improving upon the tire fire that was the 100-loss 2013 Marlins shouldn't be too much of a task. The bad news is that the Ponzi scheme that was the 2012 spending spree is never happening again. Instead, fans can expect a return to the "Marlins Way:" cheap young players under the team's control until flying cars are the norm, mixed with veteran players looking to use the Marlins as their own personal baseball career rehab. Without further ado, meet your 2014 Fish:
Rafael Furcal, 2B: Once upon a time, having speedy Furcal at the top of your order was a sign you were a true contender. Not in 2014. Furcal is 36 and injury-prone. Oh, and he's switching to second base, a spot on the diamond he last played in 2004 for one game. This is going to shock you, but Furcal has missed most of spring training with a hamstring injury.
Meet Your Mildly Less Crappy 2014 Miami Marlins
Christian Yelich, LF: The Marlins' 2010 first-round pick saw his first MLB action last year and batted a respectable .288. Now he's projected to start a batting-order spot labeled "Let's pitch to this guy, because the next guy looks like Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones." With Stanton protecting him, Yelich should have plenty of pitches to hit.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF: Monster dongs. All Giancarlo has done since entering the league is hit 117 HRs and 294 RBIs, appeared naked in ESPN the Magazine, and changed his name from Mike. And he's just 24. The craziest thing is you get the feeling he hasn't come close to reaching his potential due to injuries. Also limiting him, the fact that he has played his entire career with the Marlins.
Garrett Jones, 1B: Out is Logan Morrison; in is Garrett Jones. Don't everyone throw your orange Marlins hats in the air at once in jubilation. Jones is a 32-year-old .254 career hitter. On the bright side, Jones does not have the world's most annoying Twitter account.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C: The best part about the Marlins' signing Saltalamacchia is the world no longer has to hear Red Sox fans yelling "SAWLTEH!" Salty comes to the Marlins after one good year with the Red Sox. Before that, he wasn't very good. The last time the Marlins paid big bucks to a catcher coming off a career year, his name was John Buck. Hopefully this signing goes a tad better.
Marcell Ozuna, CF: Ozuna is sort of a wildcard, as no one is quite sure what he brings to the table. Ozuna started last season scorching, but his numbers fell off a cliff. Like David Samson on Survivor, he could be the first guy voted off if things go downhill early.
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Casey McGehee, 3B: Konnichiwa, Mr. McGehee! McGehee spent last year playing in Japan, so that's a new one. There are two kinds of people in this world who know Casey McGehee: those who had McGehee on their 2010 fantasy team (23 HRs, 104 RBIs) and Japanese people. That's it.
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS: Hechavarria takes the phrase "defensive shortstop" to an entirely new craptastic level. In the field, Hechavarria is bound to make SportsCenter at any given moment. At the plate, he hit .232 last season.
Jose Fernandez, Opening Day starting pitcher: Last year at this time, Fernandez was being shipped to the minors. Fast-forward to 2014 and the reigning Rookie of the Year is a Cy Young contender.