Are the Marlins in Trouble?

They have fired their president of baseball operations but there is little sense that the Marlins are improving their organization. In fact, the argument can be made that their best baseball mind has gone packing. So how are things going to get better?

If Jeffrey Loria has a moment of clarity and decides to defer to his hired experts.

The reason why Larry Beinfest was forced out wasn’t because he was doing a bad job – he was put in a tight spot so consistently by Loria that he could have qualified for veteran pay from the US military – but because he was made to be a lame duck. He had no teeth. Loria tuned him out and was doing his own thing.

Beinfest will be fine. He will probably land back on the west coast working for a team that will respect his talents – perhaps the Angels or the Mariners. Sources say he is actually relieved to be out of Miami and looks to be a new man.

But what about the Marlins? Strange no-hitters aside, the Marlins do have a bright future on the field but it won’t matter if Loria decides to implode his team to try and strangle more money out and further erode the already struggling fan base. With this move, the Marlins are assured of either more control by a power-hungry Loria or will have to rely on the most gifted yes-men to steer this team back into glory. Neither option should have Marlin fans buying long on this stock and thinking a plan will actually materialize.

If reports are true that Beinfest has been vastly ignored over the past few years, then maybe there will be a sense of direction by default. We do know that Beinfest’s abilities to milk young talent from established franchises looking to load up on veterans was what kept the Marlins’ alive in the recent past. Will the Marlins continue to make the same moves or does this switch in the front office also initiate a change of thinking? Don’t bet on it.

Loria does want to add offense at 1B, 3B, and C. Then again, what team doesn’t want to do that?

What can we expect with a Loria-dominated front office? He recently negotiated the re-signing of Greg Dobbs, who had mentioned that he didn’t want to distract the team with his renewal, which was agreed in principal a month or so back (is he serious?). Heath Bell was also his call, and that didn’t turn out so well. We just may see more money spent, but on mediocre talents that don’t contribute too much to the team.

Also, what is going to happen to Chris Valaika and Derek Dietrich? Both players were put in Loria’s doghouse after the Tino Martinez resignation. Dietrich could make a move to 3B and give the Fish a face for the foreseeable future – and allow Solano to slide over to 2B. But with Loria denying promotions, does he really have a future with the Marlins?