The Miami Marlins haven't exactly loaded up with big name free agents this offseason, but the signings they've made have been somewhat surprising.
After going through 2013 with the second lowest payroll in the majors, they went out and signed the second best catcher available in Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a few other players that could bring big rewards in 2014. Garrett Jones, Rafael Furcal and Casey McGehee are guys the Marlins likely wouldn't have signed last year. Basically, it looks like the Marlins are actually trying this time.
Whether the Marlins can climb out of the NL East basement next year is another story, but for now Miami looks to be more competitive and manager Mike Redmond is thrilled.
"I think it's energized all of us," Redmond told MLB.com. "Going out and signing these guys, I know I'm excited. I know the coaching staff is excited. I think we all believe in the direction that we're headed and the guys that we have in place, the foundation."
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Given how managers and coaches of professional teams like to spin the message, Redmond could have easily said the same thing last year when everyone knew they weren't going to be a good team. This time around, however, could be different. It's unrealistic to think they will overtake the Braves or Phillies at the top of the division, but climbing out of the bottom isn't out of the question.