MIAMI — The Miami Marlins are in the midst of a rebranding campaign, and it’s unclear whether the effort will include keeping National League Most Valuable Players for a change.
As of now, the Marlins are merely making cosmetic tweaks, unveiling a new logo and color scheme for Derek Jeter’s year-old ownership regime.
The downtrodden franchise celebrated its new look at a red-carpet event Thursday night just as Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was being named the NL MVP. That makes it two consecutive winners of the award traded by the Marlins last offseason, with Yelich joining 2017 MVP Giancarlo Stanton, now with the New York Yankees.
The trades were part of a payroll purge and rebuilding effort under the ownership, and Jeter said he understands why the deals might make the franchise a target of derision.
In this next chapter- looking ahead. #OurColores pic.twitter.com/v9DIrqp94o— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) November 15, 2018
“I get it. It’s a complicated history,” he said. “I understand that sometimes we take the blame for what has happened here in the past. We have to prove that wrong.
“We want to win. That’s the bottom line. It’s about 25 guys on our team; it’s not about one particular player. We have to take the time to build that organization.”
With the focus on accumulating prospects, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto could be the next to go, and the Marlins are shopping him this offseason.
While the payroll will likely be small again in 2019, the team can at least tout a new look. The old orange is out, and blue, black, red and gray are the new colors. The logo features a darting marlin above baseball seams and “Miami” in script.
The Marlins said they chose colors found in the large variety of cultural flags flown in South Florida. They said the script was influenced by typography commonly found in Latin-American culture, with a font style and accent colors reminiscent of the 1950s Miami Marlins minor league team, as well as the Havana Sugar Kings of the same era.
Jeter, the team’s CEO, had input on the designs.
“We tried to capture the energy and diversity of Miami,” he said. “We listened to our fans. We took a lot of time looking around Miami. We’ve done Miami’s colors.”
With the changes, the franchise further distances itself from the unpopular former owner, Jeffrey Loria. He changed the colors and logo when the Marlins moved into a new ballpark in 2012.
“We want to put our own mark on the organization,” Jeter said. “It differentiates the past with the present and the future. It was important for us to do this.”
Changes at Marlins Park are also being made. The kitschy home run sculpture has been dismantled and will be replaced by a tiered standing room-only area for spectators. In another section, fans will be invited to bring musical instruments, bells, whistles and flags as a way to show pride in their native countries.
“We’re hopeful when they walk into the park next year, it’s an entirely different experience for them,” Jeter said.