Marlins Winter Meetings Preview

The Marlins head into the winter meetings with several needs and multiple questions

The Miami Marlins have work to do and may be busy completing some tasks this week at the annual MLB winter meetings.

This is often the location of many moves including free agent signings and trades by teams. Even if deals aren't consummated during the week, general managers often lay the groundwork at this time.

The Marlins are still hunting for help on offense as well as in the rotation. A quick look at second base would show that Miami has room to improve. The free agent market at the position is thin but the Marlins could seek to make a trade and fulfill the need that way. If not, the team could elect to just stick with Enrique Hernandez or Donovan Solano at the position.

In the rotation, there have been rumblings that the Marlins like James Shields. The problem is that Shields could prove to be too expensive. Miami has a need to a front of the rotation type arm with Jose Fernandez out until at least July but Shields could command $20 million annually. This is a difficult number when payroll is reported to be $65 million total.

Miami could look to some less expensive options such as a Brandon McCarthy or Jake Peavy. There has been reported interest from Miami in the latter veteran. Peavy could be a perfect for the Marlins with a short-term contract and relatively low salary. The veteran has also been a world champion the last two seasons.

It doesn't take looking back too long to find a time when Miami itself was active during the meetings. In 2011, the Marlins made a series of offers and were the biggest story of the meetings. Miami had a much publicized attempt at reeling in Albert Pujols despite already signing Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle.

Pujols would go on to be signed during the meetings by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Another player that Miami targeted that year also went to Los Angeles when C.J. Wilson turned down Miami's offer. Those two signings were just a part of the frantic business seen annually during these meetings.

It is not likely that Miami will be the most active team this week or make the biggest splash but it should find help for its roster. Sometimes the smallest moves end up the biggest at the end of the year. This could end up the week that the team looks back on come next October.

The winter meetings will run through Thursday in San Diego.

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