Hall of Fame baseball writer Murray Chass suggests eliminating the two Florida franchises. Six years ago, baseball owners voterd to contract two teams. I have a better idea- how about merging the two Florida teams and contract one other? The two Florida teams combine would produce a pretty good team:
1B: Carlos Pena
2B: Dan Uggla
SS: Hanley Ramirez
3B: Miguel Cabrera
OF: Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young
C: Dioner Navarro, Matt Treanor
Bench/DH (if in AL) Josh Willingham (3rd C as well), Jeremy Hermidia, Akinori Iwamura, Brendan Harris
This leaves a slot open, (Elijah Dukes, Johnny Gomes, Cody Ross?) and allows for Miguel Olivo leaving via trade or after being non-tendered.
The Pitching wouldn't look bad either- Scott Kazmir, James Shields, Dontrelle Willis, Scott Olsen and Sergio Mitre would be a solid rotation with veterans Al Reyes and Kevin Gregg in the 8th and 9th innings. Mix and match setup guys and you'd have a pretty good pitching staff. Plus, the Marlins have Josh Johnson, Anibel Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco coming back from injuries. If one of the top two comes back to 2006 form- even in 2009, it would certainly stregthen the rotation.
You'd have the only team in Florida, the hope for a statewide TV and radio package, and even with Pena, Cabrera and Willis, an affordable mid-range budget. Playing in the NL, without the DH, and avoiding the Yankees and Red Sox in the same division, you'd have a team that could compete for a Wild Card post-season berth immediately.
Chass' NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/sports/baseball/08chass.html?_r=1&oref=slogin