The Marlins signed veteran reliever Carlos Marmol to a one-year, $1.25 million free agent contract this offseason with the hope that he might provide good value in a setup role. That experiment is already over.
According to beat writer Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Marmol was designated for assignment on Sunday morning — meaning he is no longer a member of the Marlins’ 40-man roster and will either be traded, released, or outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans within the next 10 days. A trade is unlikely.
Marmol allowed four earned runs in Saturday night’s 9-3 loss to the Padres, pushing his season ERA to 8.10. He walked 10 batters and yielded 16 hits in 13 1/3 total innings for Miami.
“Couldn’t get people out,” Marmol acknowledged to reporters late Saturday night. “I did the best I could, but it didn’t work out good. It’s tough. You try to do your best and it didn’t work out.”
Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.
Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.
All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.