Friday, January 15, 2010

Marlins Told to Spend Money

The happy news out of South Florida is that ace pitcher Josh Johnson signed a four year contract extension.  The not-so-happy news out of South Florida is that the Marlins were pushed by Major League Baseball and the Player's Union to extend Johnson.

The Marlins' frugality is often the subject of concern in baseball.  MLB implemented a revenue-sharing program designed to tax the top spenders and redistribute the tax money amongst the smaller market teams.  The fish, however, routinely keep their payroll as low as possible. has this fantastic chart that demonstrates the spending habits of the Marlins.
Florida Marlins Rev-Sharing - Payroll
EOY Payroll

The "Rev-Sharing" column shows the money the Marlins got from MLB as part of the revenue-sharing agreement.  The "EOY Payroll" is their end of season payroll and the "Diff" is what the Marlins are paying their players, after revenue-sharing kicks in its contribution.

Part of the revenue-sharing agreement was that the recipients of revenue-sharing dollars would have to spend that money on players (thus, helping small market teams compete against the wealthier teams).  Earlier this week, MLB, the union, and the Marlins released a joint statement which said "In recent years, the Union has had concerns that certain Clubs have not lived up to this requirement, and has consulted regularly with the Commissioner’s Office about those concerns. The Florida Marlins are one of a number of Clubs that have been discussed."   For their part, the Marlins pledged to increase their payroll as they prepare to move into a new ballpark.

This marks the first time MLB/the union has ever tried to enforce this tenet of the revenue-sharing agreement.  What the Marlins actually do with the money will be something interesting to watch for.  They could overspend on mediocre players and say to MLB "well, we spent the money, aren't you happy now?"  Alternatively, they could spend the money on their young talent, like Johnson, a move that's good for the Marlins and good for baseball.  Although this first statement was about the Marlins, pay close attention to the Pirates, Royals, and Rays, teams that are also known for being a bit stingy.

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Anonymous said...

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