Report: Miami Marlins offered James Shields three years, $60 million

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Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald noted in his Sunday column that the Miami Marlins had offered James Shields a three-year, $60 million contract.

"The Marlins discussed a three-year, $60 million deal with pitcher James Shields before he took a four-year, $75 million offer from San Diego, according to a person with direct knowledge. The Marlins initially were reluctant to get involved but made an attempt late. But Shields said the Padres and Cubs were his finalists."

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The Marlins 2015 payroll right now stands at just over $60 million,

according to Spotrac

. Locking up Shields for presumably $20 million this season would have launched the payroll into the $80 million range, which is considerably more than the Marlins were willing to commit to. During the lengthy Shields negotiations, it’s interesting that Miami stuck around in contention for so long. I’d imagine it was a stretch for them to offer that much money for three years, and I’m sure talks stalled when the Marlins refused to budge past the already-lofty (at least by their standards) $20 million range. But while the Marlins saved millions, signing with San Diego might have actually cost Shields a hefty chunk of change. Ken Rosenthal explained the state tax situation in

his column last Wednesday

:

"The top state tax rate in California is 13.3 percent. The top rate in Illinois recently dropped from 5 percent to 3.75 percent. Florida does not charge state tax, but players from all states pay “Jock Tax” on some road games.In his deal with the Padres, Shields’ final net wages after taxes will be approximately $38.97 million.And in our hypothetical offer from the Marlins, it would have been considerably higher — approximately $46.57 million.The hypothetical offer from the Marlins, meanwhile, was $5 million more than Shields got from the Padres, but after taxes worth $7.6 million more."

Still though, kudos to the Marlins for being in the running until the very end. We’ve talked ad nauseum all offseason about the Marlins needing to go all-in and try and “win now” while the pieces are in place. Signing Shields probably would’ve made Miami a playoff team, but it’s not the end of the world. As I wrote yesterday, the games are not played on paper. If a few under the radar guys step it up this season, who knows what could happen? The 2003 Florida Marlins weren’t supposed to go anywhere. That team was doing so poorly it fired its skipper and relied on young players to get back in the race. And it worked.

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