If the Florida Marlins brass thought they were in the driver’s seat in order to compete with the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves, think again.

After Philadelphia remained fairly quiet in the news last week after their former outfielder Jayson Werth signed a mega deal with the Washington Nationals, they now have attracted the spotlight for all the right reasons.

The hottest ace on the free agent market, Cliff Lee, announced he would be taking his talents to South Street, again. This doesn’t help the Marlins’ cause in their aspirations to be a competitive team in 2011 or 2012.

The fact that the Marlins had to face Roy Halladay (who hurled a perfect game against them in May and threw a no-hitter against the Reds in the postseason), Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels was scary enough, and now they’ll have to face 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee.

At least on the bright side of things, Jamie Moyer—who, unlike Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels, wasn’t a power pitcher—won’t be pitching for Philadelphia or anywhere this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Moyer was the one pitcher that had the Marlins’ number since joining the Phillies in 2006. He went 13-6 (7-0 between 2006 and 2007) with a 3.09 ERA in 19 starts against Florida. 

However, the Marlins have themselves to blame for the position they are now in. Had they kept Miguel Cabrera back in 2007 instead of trading him for a pair of busts (Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller) and not given even more firepower to the division rival Atlanta Braves this offseason by trading Dan Uggla for a less than stellar return, then the Marlins might be a force to be reckoned with, but that’s not the case, now is it? 

Here are 10 things that must happen for the Florida Marlins to have hope of any October baseball in 2011.

Begin Slideshow