With the Marlins, you never know where the organization is going. Last offseason was set up for the team to spend. The new ballpark was expected to generate revenue that would substantiate the contracts given to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell and possibly give them flexibility to add another player or two as the season went on. The team got off to a bad start and the attendence never raised to the level of expectation, which led to the fire sale which dropped the payroll. The question is, has the firesale ended? Or will it continue into the offseason? There were talks the Marlins were looking to trade Josh Johnson, Buehrle, Bell and John Buck but just could not find any takers. Many think the firesale will last into the offseason.
If it does, the immediate future will not look too bright. Any trade the Marlins make would expected to move salary and/ or prospects to Miami. Now a days, it is difficult to relieve salary in a deal and get good prospects in return. The Boston/ LA deal is not the norm. If they do not add valuable prospects, the longterm future may not look as great either, despite having Reyes and Giancarlo Stanton.
I guess the question is can the Marlins improve next season with its current team? Without trading any of the before mentioned. Zack Cox was brought in from St Louis in the Edwin Mujica trade to play 3B next season. Donovan Solano and Justin Ruggiano are expected to be regulars next year. If their starting pitching staff stays in tact, they are not that bad. To me, its going to depend on how the Marlins shake up the team after a disappointing season.
Could Ozzie Guillen or Larry Beinfest be fired after this season? Based on owner Jeffrey Loria's comments it may be a possibility. If either happens, it leaves a ton of options of how the team will look.
As far as the Mets, Sandy Alderson continues to try to say the right things. He says he knows what he needs to improve on for the team. The question is, does he plan to make the team better next season? The Mets clearly need an outfield and a catcher, not to mention a new bullpen. How much can he change with no money? It doesn't leave many excited. Of course trades could improve certain areas, but that is also something Alderson has done very little of since joining the Mets. (unless it is a salary dump) The Mets starting pitching looks encouraging, but it will struggle without a more potent offense.
Many see the troubles of this team. Its obvious these areas need to be improved. The question is, will they? The Mets, under the leadership of Alderson, have had two of the most disinterested offseasons in all of baseball. If they have another one, they will be among the worst teams in the NL. Without anything done to help the OF, C and RP (though the long term future may look better), the team will take a step back next season, in spite of how bad things have gone in the second half this year.
In conclusion, I think the Marlins have a better outlook for next season, but that is assuming they keep whats left of their core in tact. If the Marlins break their team down even more, they could be worse than the Mets. The Mets, assuming the plan is to run out whatever players they have left and add nothing, look bad for next season and should finish last place. It could all change if a plan comes into place to upgrade their outfield, catcher and bullpen. Depending on how much they upgrade will determine how much they can improve. Their starting pitching will keep them in a lot of games. But it will be a matter of time before their confidence will be shot with a team that cannot score. So, depending on how much the Mets add or the Marlins trade away will narrow the gap that the Marlins have over the Mets going into next season.