Will the Miami Marlins increase their payroll for the upcoming season, or will the organization continue its frugal ways for the foreseeable future?
At some point, Miami Marlins owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman are going to have to open their wallets and spend some money. The addition by subtraction theory of working with a smaller payroll while trying to acquire young talent for the future can only go so far. Major League Baseball like every other sport is designed for the “haves” to win games while the “have-nots” are lets to toil in obscurity.
Right now, the Marlins are sinking in obscurity, hoping someone throws them a life preserver to remain afloat.
How the organization handles the offseason will tell you everything you need to know about this coming season and potentially 2020. Can the small-budget Marlins use the resources they have right now and win baseball games or challenge for a playoff berth?
Probably not. This is not the Oakland A’s and Billy Beane. The Marlins are not talented enough – yet – to play that kind of baseball.
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"“The 2018 Opening Day payroll for the 25-man roster was $99,510,143, according to the Cot’s Baseball Contracts website,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote. “Projections should be in that range again in ’19, although the range has not officially been set.”"
A lot of the “set” part of the Marlins payroll will deal with the arbitration cases involving J.T. Realmuto, Jose Urena, and Dan Straily. Both Realmuto and Straily could be traded if the organization gets a solid offer for future prospects. Urena figures to win his case based on his second-half showing on the mound.
It does get a bit murky when discussing the team’s payroll given Jeter cut costs immediately after taking over as owner last year. He shaved $50 million off the books for 2018 in players salaries by trading veteran mainstays (do I really need to tell you who I am talking about?) while bringing in low-cost rookies and youngsters to fill in the gaps.
Ask Jeter how that worked out.
Despite seeing progress from a young pitching staff and a few everyday players who stepped forward, this is still a team in need of power in the lineup and another veteran arm in the rotation. The bullpen situation could get dicey as well with no proven closer.
"“Currently, three players are signed for next year — left-hander Wei-Yin Chen ($20 million player option), third baseman Martin Prado ($15 million) and second baseman Starlin Castro ($11 million). So, $46 million is locked up in three players,” Frisaro added."
The future looks a little better two years out as Prado and Castro, who has a $1 million buyout for ’20, will come off the books, if they are still with the organization, after next season.
Chen isn’t going anywhere right now as he has a $22 million player option for20220. In 2021, he has a $16 million conditional player option. Still, that’s a lot of change for a marginal pitcher with a huge contract.