The Miami Marlins took a step forward in 2016, and it appeared as though the franchise was heading in the right direction. Then, tragedy struck in the final week of the season, leaving their future in question.
At the trade deadline, the Miami Marlins were solidly in the playoff hunt. Only four games out of first in the National League East, the Marlins made moves to fortify their pitching staff, acquiring Andrew Cashner, Fernando Rodney and Colin Rea.
That move did not work out. Both Cashner and Rodney struggled in Miami, while Rea was sent back to San Diego after being injured after one start. The Marlins fell back in the pack, and while they remained on the periphery of the Wild Card until the final two weeks of the season, they were unable to mount a serious threat for postseason contention.
However, those struggles took a back seat in the final week of the season. Jose Fernandez, their star pitcher and a player with deep roots in Miami, tragically lost his life in a boating accident. The tributes are still pouring in for the late pitcher, whose loss has left a giant hole in the Marlins pitching staff.
Heading into the final week of the season, the Marlins appeared to be in a good spot heading into next year. Now, they have more questions than answers. Their best laid plans have fallen by the wayside. Will this be the high water mark for the Marlins this decade, or will they rally and find themselves back in contention in 2017?
Before we can answer that question, let us take a look back at the 2016 campaign for the Miami Marlins.