NL East: A mid-term front office assessment of the 5 teams

Apr 11, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings (left) with pitcher Tanner Scott. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings (left) with pitcher Tanner Scott. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Miami Marlins front office, -4.3

There was a moment during the winter when the thought occurred that the Marlins might be progressing. GM Kim Ng signed potential star slugger Jorge Soler, and swung trades that got catcher Jacob Stallings from Pittsburgh and middle infielder Joey Wendle from Tampa Bay.

It hasn’t worked out. The Soler signing has been a particular non-event. He’s hitting .217 and, although he does have 13 home runs, it still only adds up to -0.3 WAA. The Marlins, meanwhile, are a non-contending fourth in the NL East, and part of the reason has been the impact of the changes Ng made.

There were 22 of them in all, only six of which have worked out to Miami’s benefit. Two had neutral value, the other 14 hurt. Here are the most impactful.

Dec. 1: Just before the lockout was called, Ng signed veteran Avisail Garcia to a five-year, $60 million deal. Perhaps it will work out in the long haul, but the short-term impact has not been helpful. Garcia is batting .227 with six homers, 23 RBI, 70 strikeouts, and a .594 OPS. If not for the length of that deal, the OPS and the resulting -1.3 WAA would make Garcia’s prospects for continued employment shaky at best.

Nov. 29: Stallings came to Miami in a trade that sent pitcher Zach Thompson and a couple of prospects to the Pirates. Touted as a developing star behind the plate, Stallings has been a disappointment. He’s off to a .197 start in Miami with just two homers and 21 RBIs. His defensive runs saved numbers are modestly negative and he’s only throwing out 15 percent of baserunners. Run the numbers and you get a -1.2 WAA.

Nov. 14: The Wendle deal was only one of two between the two Florida teams. In a separate trade, Ng acquired pitcher Louis Head for a minor leaguer. Head was supposed to provide bullpen depth, but so far his 7.23 ERA in 24 innings has been less than what the Miami front office had in mind. His total impact to date is -0.8 WAA.

Dec. 1: The Marlins sold catcher Jorge Alfaro to San Diego. Of negligible value in Miami, Alfaro has blossomed in San Diego. He’s batting .281 with a solid .794 OPS and +0.87 WAA for his new team.

Next. Grading the AL East front offices so far. dark

May 27: Probably the Marlin front office’s biggest success thus far is the promotion of rookie catcher Nick Fortes. Optioned to Jacksonville for the season’s start, Fortes was recalled in late May and he has had success. In 14 games he’s batting .300 with three homers and a .979 OPS. The defensive numbers are preliminary but to this point positive. His value to the team adds up to +0.7 WAA.