Here in Miami, we know a thing or two about trading away MLB stars. As we’ve seen the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna take their talents elsewhere, we have become accustomed to trades that leave Marlins fans feeling as if they got the short end of the stick.
At least the Marlins aren’t the Rockies right now. The Rockies started the short 2020 season a scorching hot 12-4. They finished 26-34. And now, they have let go of their franchise 3rd baseman, Nolan Arenado. Being heralded as the worst trade in Colorado history, this trade left the Rockies even worse off and the St. Louis Cardinals in prime shape to re-emerge as the NL powerhouse of past years,
The Rockies effectively paid the Cardinals $51 million to take the 8-time Gold Glove Winner and 5 time All-Star off their hands for minimal return.
This trade continues to shape a blooming National League, and here are the key reasons any team (including the Marlins) should take notice:
NL Central becomes more defined
With this trade, a 2020 Wild Card berth for the Cardinals looks to transition into a 2021 NL Central Championship, especially with the Cubs under a firehouse sale. With Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Jack Flaherty, and an overall solid roster to back them up, the Cardinals are the new favorites in the Central. Most likely, this leaves the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs to fight for a Wild Card spot.
Wild Card Back May go back to Normal
Talks on this subject are 50/50, between maintaining an extended playoffs and returning to a normal structure. If there is a return, the structure leaves multiple teams that succeeded last year in a much worse position. 2 Wild Cards means and 3 Division Winners means 3 less teams in October. With all 3 divisions looking relatively decided, there is not going to be much excitement for teams such as the Marlins.
- NL West: Dodgers or Padres (2nd place will be WC1)
2. NL Central: Cardinals
3. NL East: Braves or Mets (2nd Place will be WC2)
No extended playoffs means a determined 5 or so teams. In my opinion, the level of competition from those competitors in a long 154 game season will outlast teams such as the Marlins, Brewers, and Phillies that rely on a smaller sample size to succeed.
With a more determined “top 5” emerging in the NL, teams like the Marlins need to hope that extended playoffs are here to stay. If not, the NL will shape up exactly as we expect it to.
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