Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter believes his team is in "a good spot" following a busy and controversial off-season.
Jeter met with reporters at Marlins Park on Tuesday and formally introduced new president of business operations, Chip Bowers. In addition to that introduction, Jeter fielded a number of questions and showed some confidence in his young team.
The Marlins have flip-flopped in the past in terms of facial hair regulations and will once again have some guidelines in 2018. Jeter will allow some facial hair, but will ask players to keep things tight and clean. While players can have a mustache or beard, it will need to be well-groomed.
"If you look professional, you act professional," said Jeter of the grooming policy.
From the start, Jeter stated that the off-season would include some "unpopular moves" and that ended up accurate. Under Jeter's watch, the Marlins traded away their entire starting outfield from 2017. Reigning MVP Giancarlo Stanton was sent to Jeter's old club in the Bronx, as part of a major rebuilding effort in Miami. Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich exited as well during a hectic off-season.
Miami is not expected to compete in 2018, it could end up with the worst record in all of baseball even. This would not mean Jeter's plan failed however, as his idea is more of a long-term fix. Jeter is trying to build the organization from the ground up and the minor-league system has improved with the series of trades. It could take several years to see if this plan worked or failed.
"We're in a good spot," said Jeter. "We are doing exactly what we set out to do."
While Jeter has not seemed to be overly popular since taking over, he feels it has actually been quite the opposite.
"Contrary to popular belief, we've gotten a very warm welcome from individuals and corporations who have reached out and said they want to be a part of this journey," Jeter said. "People understand that there needed to be some change here."
Jeter also stated that the Marlins will honor the late Jose Fernandez in some manner. While not providing details or a time-line, Jeter said he expected Fernandez to be honored by the team in the near-term future.
The Marlins will begin reporting to Jupiter on Wednesday for spring training. Pitchers and catchers will appear at camp first and will be joined by the rest of the team later this week. Jeter stated his intention was to be in Jupiter for the start of camp as well.