Let's get one thing straight: this isn't December, 2011, again, when the Marilns went nuts at the Winter Meetings in Dallas, throwing cash around (Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, etc.) as if they'd found a gold vein. Everyone knows how that turned out.
Well, here it is two years later and they're back at it, only this time at a much more moderate level. Two days after locking up catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a 3-year deal, and one day after securing infielder Rafael Furcal on a 1-year contract, they were working to reel in first baseman Garrett Jones on a 2-year deal worth $7.75 million. Jones was non-tendered by the Pirates earlier in the week after a slight dropoff at the plate, where he hit totaled 15 homers (down from 27 the previous season) and hit .233 (down from .274 in 2012).
The moves signal a few things:
1) Logan Morrison is as good as gone. If that wasn't already apparent when they were toying with the idea of signing Mike Napoli, it certainly is now with the pending addition of Jones. The Marlins are expected to dangle Morrison at the Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.
2) The infield is receiving a makeover. Not only will Jones take over at first, but the Marlins intend to have Furcal -- a career shortstop -- play second. It's unclear at this point whether the Marlins will continue their search for a third baseman. They could turn it into a spring training competition involving Derek Dietrich, Ed Lucas and Donovan Solano. More than likely, though, they're still sifting through rosters looking for a third baseman.
3) They're spending again. OK, so it's not at the ridiculously insane levels of the 2011 Spending Spree. But they are opening their wallets, at least a little bit (frankly, more than I expected them to). Over the past three days, they've reached (or are about to reach) agreements on $31.75 million in contracts -- $21 million of that going to Saltalamacchia and another $3 million earmarked for Furcal. The Saltalamacchia deal is now official, by the way. Sure, that's barely more than a year's worth of salary for Robinson Cano. But, by the Marlins' usual standards, it's a step up. Their payroll now projects at somewhere around $46 million, which falls into the reported range of $40-50 million.
So tell us what you think? Do you like the moves the Marlins have made so far? Don't like them? The comment lines are open.