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Derek Jeter will get big bonuses if the Marlins turn a profit

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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.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.