November 20, 2012 by Matt Musico
Even though the mega-trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays has been approved and finalized by commissioner Bud Selig this week, Miami is not exactly out of the woods when it comes to the Players’ Association. This article on ESPN MLB tells us the union will be keeping an eye on the Marlins to make sure their latest fire sale doesn’t violate anything within the new labor agreement. Teams are supposed to be using their revenue sharing to improve the on-field product, which certainly doesn’t seem to be a priority of Jeffrey Loria.
The report from ESPN is short and to the point, but this is what I felt was worth noting: at the start of 2012, the Marlins’ payroll came in at $112 million. This is significantly higher than it had been historically, but that’s what happens when you hand out huge contracts to players like Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle. Once the season finished, their payroll number dropped to $90 million, the direct effect of making some deals, including sending Hanley Ramirez packing for LA. After this salary dump, Miami’s projected salary for 2013 is currently $36 million.
Um, what? A $76 million drop in salary from one year to the next is unprecedented, and makes the $50 million drop the Mets went through last season look insignificant. Even if the Union doesn’t do anything after their investigations, we all know that no big market free agents will ever want to take their talents to South Beach, unless they have a change of heart and start offering no-trade clauses to players, which is unlikely as long as Loria is in the owner’s box.