Derek Jeter’s baseball legacy is all about winning. The World Series rings, the playoff appearances and being the captain of the winningest team in baseball history as it returned to prominence in the 1990s.
As an owner, Jeter has cut himself a deal that puts profits first. From the Miami Herald’s latest installment of its series on “Project Wolverine,” the business plan drafted by Jeter and the Marlins ownership last summer and fall as they sought approval to purchase the club:
Marlins co-owner Derek Jeter eventually will make back his modest financial investment in the team merely through the salary he is being paid as the team’s chief executive officer.
But he could be paid substantially more than that if the team makes a profit.
According to an August version of Project Wolverine – a document pitching potential investors on joining the Marlins ownership group and shared with the Miami Herald by sources – Jeter will make an annual bonus based on the Marlins being profitable.
Jeter will make an additional $2 million in 2018, $1.7 million in 2019, $1.1 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021, and $2 million in 2022 if the Marlins are profitable in those calendar years. That’s over and above the $5 million salary he’ll make as CEO. The Herald also cites a report that Jeter has an unlimited credit card for Marlins-related expenses including travel from his Tampa home but could not confirm it. Still: fun.
As we’ve noted so often around these parts, baseball is a business, so it’s not necessarily shocking that a guy who bought a baseball team did so to make some money. It’s just shocking how front-loaded and short-term Jeter’s financial incentives are structured. Given that, as Jeter himself as noted, the Marlins are in a competitive and financial mess these days, one would think that a bit of a longer view that has some sort of connection to team success, as opposed to merely short term financial success, would be in order. This looks more like a private equity play than an investment in a baseball team as an ongoing concern.
But what do I know? I just like baseball. Jeter is all about winning. I’ve read that many, many times.