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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.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.