Miami-Dade challenges the Marlins over $1.7 million of stadium expenses

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The Miami Marlins are supposed to share a certain percentage of the construction costs for their new ballpark. To that end, the team claimed numerous expenses related to the ballpark towards their magic number.

The Miami-Dade government, however, is calling b.s. on some of them, saying that the team should not get expense credit for a number of expenses related to the team’s apparently chi-chi little sales office:

All of the claims being questioned by the county relate to the ballclub’s small sales office that sat next to the stadium parking garages on Northwest Seventh Street.

The team is seeking to recover $14,031 for advertising banners, thousands spent on Comcast cable and Florida Power & Light bills, $110,545 it put toward rent, and $259,057 paid to the A2 Group, the firm that designed the center.

The team also spent $33,226 on office furniture, $9,823 on the drapes, and $299.72 for fabric to cover three pillows — all items the county has chosen to fight.

Good for the government for fighting such expenses. If only they would have never gotten in bed with someone who would attempt to pass off such expenses as their contribution to a grand public works project in the first place.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”