Now is a good time to look at which team will breakout in 2016.
My pick is the Miami Marlins for the breakout team in the 2016 season.
I chose this team despite poor ownership in Jeffrey Loria, and the fact the past three to four seasons the team has looked like a train wreck and been a constant in the bottom of the league.
In 2012, the Marlins looked amped to be competitive again after a large amount of money spent during the offseason signing free agents such as shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and reliever Heath Bell.
With all the high expectations, they fell flat and had a fire sale by the trade deadline.
The Marlins hired Don Mattingly to manage the team this season, which appears to be a step in the right direction for the organization.
Along with Mattingly, this team truly looks on the verge of taking the leap to competitiveness in 2016.
The team finished third last season with a 71-91 record.
What one doesn’t take into account is that young ace Jose Fernandez missed the majority of the season after recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Elite right fielder Giancarlo Stanton only played 74 games after fracturing his hamate bone in June.
Anytime a team loses its top two stars, they will struggle to compete.
Where would the Pirates be without Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen?
Who can truly say, but I highly doubt they’d have finished with top three records in all of baseball.
Also, the Marlins have additional young talent on the cusp of greatness.
Last season, ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked the Marlins starting outfield the best in baseball.
When Staton is healthy, and if Christian Yelich continues to improve along with Marcell Ozuna, this team has the talent to compete in the NL East and sneak into the playoffs.
The Marlins also went out and signed Wei-Yin Chen this offseason to a five year $80 million dollar deal.
This move helps solidify their rotation behind Fernandez and Jarred Cosart.
They also added 13-year veteran Edwin Jackson to their rotation in the hopes he can rejuvenate his career.
Another key to this team is their speed on the basepaths.
Outfielders Yelich, Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria are capable base stealers, along with arguably the best in baseball, second baseman Dee Gordon.
The last key to this team is their bullpen which features relievers Mike Dunn, Aaron Crow, Bryan Morris, Carter Capps and closer A.J. Ramos.
I believe that if this team can remain healthy and have a little bit of luck, the Miami Marlins could have a drastic improvement in 2016, and posibly contend for a World Series title.