Not even the most privileged of human spawn will have as many holiday gifts to enjoy as the Miami Marlins. Indeed, besides a new ballpark, a new manager and new uniforms, the Marlins have bestowed upon themselves a new star shortstop, a new closer and a new workhorse for the rotation. So among the tattered wrapping paper is a pressing question: Does it all add up to postseason contention for the rebranded Marlins?
Last season, the Marlins limped to 72 wins, the same number of Pythagorean wins and a last-place finish in the National League East. So their baseline for 2012 would seem to be quite low. As you can see in the table, the Marlins were generally mediocre in all underlying phases of the game.
Of course, there are those on-field improvements. Laying aside the fiscal wisdom of the contracts handed out, the Marlins will certainly be better because of their hot-stove adventures. But after all the hype, will they improve enough to make the playoffs?