Marlins Rumors: Miami Marlins have to clear salary to make free agent signing?
By Ehsan Kassim
As the off-season inches nearer, we’ll start to have some of the silence around the Miami Marlins rumors start to fade away and have more rumors about off-season moves to discuss.
The major rumors surrounding the Marlins this off-season have included the team’s potential interest in Pablo Sandoval and a rumor that the team’s payroll should be around $60 million next season . Those two rumors seem to contradict each other, as the latest around Sandoval sounds like he’ll get a $100 million+ contract this off-season.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, to add a significant amount of payroll this off-season, the Marlins will need Loria to either need to expand payroll or the front office will need to cut the salary that’s already on the team.
"If the Marlins keep virtually all of their team together before making a few additions, their projected payroll would be close to $55 million, leaving them without enough to add a high-impact hitter and a cheap fifth starter if they stick with their initial plans to have a payroll at $60 million or slightly higher.So in order to try to sign perhaps Michael Cuddyer or Michael Morse to play first base and have a little money left, Jeffrey Loria either will need to add a bit more to payroll (which he did last year for Jeff Baker and Carlos Marmol); or the Marlins will need to dump salary, either by finding a team willing to cover part of Garrett Jones’ $5 million salary or Jarrod Saltalmacchia’s $7 million in a trade (good luck with that), trading Steve Cishek or Mike Dunn, who could make $6 million and $2 million in arbitration; or declining the option on catcher Jeff Mathis ($2.1 million), who they value."
If the Marlins are as serious as they say they are about contending next season, it’s hard to envision them trading Cishek without a capable replacement, knowing that a potential closer would probably cost more than Cishek on the free agent market. The same could be said about Dunn, as a left handed reliever is a valued commodity around the league.
Moving Saltalamacchia wouldn’t be the wisest of moves, especially with the Marlins recent history of trading significant free agents. Salty chose the Marlins over other offers, including the Minnesota Twins, to be nearer to his home.
Garrett Jones, however, should be a piece the Marlins should be willing to part with. The team is already thinking about parting ways with the long-time Pirate. His $5 million contract seems more like an albotross next season than Salty’s $7 million, as Salty has a better chance of turning things around in Miami and was a major improvement over the Marlins catching situation last season.