After no-hitting the Diamondbacks tonight, Anibal Sanchez and the tiny-payroll Marlins are 2.5 games back in the wild card race.
Here's a good article on the unusual route the Marlins took last offseason. It features a quote from our own Dave Littlefield:
True enough. The Bucs wouldn't have the immediate success the Marlins have had if they adopted the same strategy, because there's just not enough talent to sell off, and not enough young talent already in the system.
Over at Baseball Primer, Mike Emeigh responds to Littlefield:
Emeigh, as usual, is spot-on. There are two main things separating the Bucs from the Marlins: the first is that the Marlins have shown a willingness to decisively and effectively address their problems by implementing a plan, and the Pirates haven't. And the second is that the Pirates don't have the Marlins' ability to identify talent, either within their own system - think of the Bucs' Rule 5 debacle - or outside it.