Yunel Escobar promised to be the strip-mined Miami Marlins' most interesting player next year. The Cuban shortstop had loads of talent, plus an unmatched ability to act incredibly dumb -- like last season, when he was suspended for writing the anti-gay slur "Tu Ere Maricon
" on his eyeblack.
Well, Escobar's Miami stay turned out to be even shorter than team president/evil midget David Samson. Escobar was shipped to Tampa Bay last night, and Miami now officially has the lowest payroll in the bigs. But don't worry -- Jeffrey Loria swears he's going to "reinvest" all that stripped cash.
Escobar and his $5 million salary goes to the Rays in exchange for a minor league infielder, a move that brings the Marlins payroll down to $38 million -- an eye-popping $151.5 million reduction from last year's club.
That's not a firesale, it's a fire tornado.
Just to compare, the entire Miami Marlins roster now makes:
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- Just $8 million more than hometown slugger Alex Rodriguez
- Less than half the New York Yankees infield alone, which cost $82 million last year
- Exactly the asking price of A-Rod's Miami Beach bachelor pad
- Only $7 million more than Philly's two aces -- Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee
Here's the best news: The salary dump still may not be finished. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco -- in other words, the Marlins two remaining established major league players -- have requested trades.
Any second-string high school second basemen in the greater Miami area may want to drop a resume off at (gleaming new, taxpayer-funded) Marlins Park -- the Marlins may need your services next year.