The Miami Marlins' owners have always been the worst — but this season the front office is finding new and exciting ways to break what most
As the trade deadline dust settles, Marlins fans are still trying to figure out exactly what owner Jeffrey Loria and team President David Samson accomplished with their multiple moves — highlighted by a salary-dumping-reset-button-banging 13-player three-team deal involving the Dodgers and Braves.
After the fury of trades with Los Angeles over the past year, the Dodgers are now covering 25 percent of the Marlins' player payroll this season. The Marlins — owners of the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball — actually have another team paying one-fourth of it; that's amazingly cheap, even by Marlins standards. They aren't just stingy with their money anymore — that same money they promised to spend when Miami built them a publicly funded park — but they are now cheap even though they are shopping with a 25 percent off coupon.
In the latest trades with Los Angeles, the Dodgers took on the contracts of Michael Morse and pitcher Mat Latos, and in return the Marlins took back three low-level minor league players. Oh, but it gets worse; the Marlins also sweetened the pot with a competitive balance first-round pick from next year's draft in the deal, a pick that has the sole purpose of making them better in the future, cheaply. So now the Marlins are giving teams high draft picks to pay for the players they signed to excite you a few months ago; it's a brilliant Ponzi scheme, really.
It's not that the moves don't make sense — trading off high-priced-under-performing free agents is logical. The problem is that the Marlins think we are stupid enough to consider these moves are all about baseball. Loria got his stadium, yet his team is still at the rock-bottom of MLB in salary. Now they're trading away future assets so that someone else will give them a handout. But, hey, there's a bobblehead museum!
The latest embarrassing Marlins moves have reportedly once again got the attention of the MLB player union, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes.
The alarm bells rang in New York this week not because of the behavior of the Dodgers, but because of the behavior of the Marlins. The players’ union has renewed its scrutiny of the Marlins’ operations after this week’s three-way trade, in which Miami traded players and a draft pick to shed salary, with the return limited to low-level minor leaguers. The Dodgers are covering 25% of the Marlins’ player payroll this season.
This wouldn't be the first time the players union has had to force the Marlins to spend. The union and the Marlins had an agreement to up their spending that expired in 2012 when the Marlins' new ballpark opened. Back then David Samson said of the players union accusations "The Marlins have consistently made every effort to put the best product on the field, and our record supports the fact that we have been successful in that regard."
Everyone figured that after the payroll increase agreement, the Marlins would be flush with profits and would be willingly putting it money back into the product they throw out on the field; but everyone was, unsurprisingly, mistaken. The Marlins made it rain in free agency when the new park was set to open, then collected all the dollar bills on the floor when the lights turned on.
Ehsan Kassim of Marlins Maniac expressed his displeasure of the moves this weekend, calling them "shameful" and overall just another sign Miami's baseball team continues to rest in the hands of the worst owners in sports. Kassim believes the players union will keep an eye on the Marlins spending, but it probably won't matter;
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Hopefully the players’ union can pressure the Marlins to spend a little bit more this off-season and keep an eye on the team moving forward. But when you already have the lowest payroll in baseball and another team is paying 25% of that, there are signs that you probably are either too cheap and don’t care about winning, or that you cannot sustain a major league team and need to sell.
Once again the Marlins are trying to sell fans on the fact that they accept they made bad decisions — but don't worry — they are just deleting said bad decisions so they can afford to make better decisions in the future; it's a street corner shell game that fans are not going to fall for much longer.
In the end, Jeffrey Loria literally got the Marlins for free, while Marlins fans continue to get screwed.