Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Getty Images

The new Marlins owners plan to slash payroll

37 Comments

Marlins fans who were fed up with Jeff Loria and his perceived cheapness were celebrating when news broke that the team was being sold. When they learned that the owners were (a) a deep-pocketed investment banker; and (b) a future Hall of Famer who won five World Series rings while playing for an owner who spent money to win, they were probably ecstatic.

If so, they had better rein in their expectations, because Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter plan to slash payroll. From the Miami Herald:

For those who believe Derek Jeter’s purchase of the Marlins will be a great panacea, here’s one warning:

His group doesn’t appear equipped to spend lavishly on payroll.

In fact, a potential investor who was specifically briefed by the Bruce Sherman/Jeter group this summer said they spoke of a payroll being pulled back from $115 million to potentially as low as $55 million (if Giancarlo Stanton is traded) or $80 million to $85 million if Stanton is retained at $25 million next season.

The lowest Opening Day payroll in baseball this season was that of the Milwaukee Brewers, at $60 million. That’s more than the non-Stanton goal. Only four teams were below the high end of the with-Stanton goal of $85 million. Only three were below $80 million.

Since those briefings to investors, Stanton has gone on a tear, so trading him will probably make fans even grumpier than they might have been. Trading a bunch of other veterans along with him and slashing payroll to the bone won’t make them any happier.

Oh, and one last thing the article mentions: Derek Jeter is demanding a $5 million salary to run baseball operations, mostly to help him recoup his ownership investment and to cover expenses for is commute to Miami from Tampa. This despite the fact that he has as much baseball front office experience as your aunt Tilly. Theo Epstein’s first Cubs contract — which came after winning two World Series rings with Boston and laying the groundwork for a third — paid him $3.7 million. If an owner can’t expect to make his money back from revenue and appreciation of his investment as opposed to extracting an outsized salary, perhaps he shouldn’t be buying a team? Just asking!

Anyway, glad you had a month or so of hope, Marlins fans, but it looks like you’re going to get more of the same from your new owners that you got from your old one.