Wild Spending in the Baseball Offseason

By Blaidd Drwg

After years of screaming poverty in Montreal, Jeff Loria was part of the ridiculous scheme that gave the Expos to MLB, gave him the Marlins and gave John Henry, another fantastically rich man who was crying poverty in South Florida, the Boston Red Sox.

As you know, MLB did everything they could to make the Expos fail in Montreal and eventually moved them to DC, Henry all of a sudden “found” the ability to pay for a team with a 140 million dollar payroll and Loria just kept screaming poverty in his new home in South Florida, saying he needed a shiny new stadium paid for by public money to be successful. and effectively selling off any player that became a free agent.

This season, thanks to a new taxpayer financed stadium and a horrific new logo, Loria all of a sudden has found extra millions to do this:

December 9, 2011 Agreed to terms with LHP Mark Buehrle on a four-year contract. Designed RHP Clay Hensley for assignment.
December 8, 2011 Agreed to terms with SS Jose Reyes on a six-year contract.
December 5, 2011 Agreed to terms with RHP Heath Bell on a three-year contract.

The Marlins had a payroll of somewhere around 58 million in 2011. Care to guess what their expected payroll number in 2012 is? Well, according to baseball-reference’s wonderful salary tracker, somewhere around 105 million. Amazing what rebranding a franchise will do to loosen up the purse strings. The Marlins back loaded the above deals so that Buehrle and Bell are only making 6 million this season and Reyes is making 10 million. The problem with back loading a deal is at some point you get a big jump in what you are paying the players. Let’s take a look:

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Reyes 10 million 10 million 16 million 22 million 22 million 22 million
Buehrle 6 million 11 million 18 million 19 million
Bell 6 million 9 million 9 million

It gets really ugly in 2014 for the Marlins. On top of the salaries above, their 2 best pitchers, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, are both free agents in 2014, Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to make 16 million and their stud first baseman, Mike Stanton, is eligible for arbitration. Just counting Reyes, Buehrle, Bell and Ramirez, the team is on the hook for 59 million in payroll. Heck, for 2013, the Marlins are projected to be somewhere between 125 and 145 million for payroll, which I don’t think is going to happen. I think we are going to see a repeat of a disturbing trend that has been there since the beginning in South Florida – owner bumps up the payroll to a long term unsustainable level to make a World Series run, sells off the players returning the team to mediocrity and then sell the team.

The Marlins could be in for an interesting ride – they have the ever volatile Ozzie Guillen at the helm, they have a new stadium which no one knows how it is going to play, they have a number of players coming off of injuries, Hanley Ramirez is unhappy about being moved to 3B and they added the ever entertaining Carlos Zambrano to the mix. My prediction is the circus in South Florida yields a .500 team this season and they are breaking the team up by June of next year.

1 comment to Wild Spending in the Baseball Offseason

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>