Marlins told to increase payroll

So today starts with an interesting story.

THIS IS BREAKING NEWS…

The following joint statement was issued today by the Major League Baseball Players Association, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the Florida Marlins:

The Basic Agreement requires that each Club use its revenue sharing receipts in an effort to improve its performance on the field. This requirement is of obvious importance to all players, Clubs and fans of the game. In recent years, the Union has had concerns that certain Clubs have not lived up to this requirement, and has consulted regularly with the Commissioner’s Office about those concerns. The Florida Marlins are one of a number of Clubs that have been discussed.

After extensive discussions, the three parties are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement regarding the Florida Marlins’ continued compliance with Article XXIV(B)(5)(a) of the Basic Agreement.

MLB told Jeffrey Loria to stop feeding off the revenue sharing system on the game. One of the reasons a salary floor is discussed is because team owners can have total team salary under the revenue sharing line and make money hand over fist, as Loria has done in past years.  There are many problems with a salary floor, however, so it’s never gone past the talking stage.

This mandate seems to be a proactive solution by Selig and the league owners.  I kinda like it.  Loria hasn’t spent more than $36 million on team payroll since 2005.  It was, for a few years, in the $40 millions and reached its peak at $60 million in 2005.  After 2005, though, payroll was slashed to $14 million and has been one of the lowest in the league ever since.

Marlins front office guy doesn’t like it.

Marlins’ President David Samson said:

“The Marlins have consistently made every effort to put the best product on the field and our record supports the fact that we have been successful in that regard. Throughout the discussions, the Marlins maintained that there had been no violation of the Basic Agreement at any time. While we know that the Marlins will always comply with the Basic Agreement, we were happy to work cooperatively with the Union and the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.”

Big surprise.  But it’s unfair to the league, the other teams and the players, who each do their best to promote the sport, while the Marlins claim to build talent and then offer to trade their best players.   The Marlins have spent some in the draft and continue to reel in prospects, but then threaten to trade off valuable players just before their turn in arbitration. Dan Uggla and Josh Johnson’s names were both thrown around in trade discussions this off-season and they’ve both just reached three years of service.  Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez signed a deal through 2014.

Now what happens next is gonna get weird, there’s virtually no way to see if he’s complying in the short term and I don’t know what MLB can do to punish him.  Knowing Selig, whatever happens will be very public and very embarrassing for someone.

After extensive discussions, the three parties are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement regarding the Florida Marlins’ continued compliance with Article XXIV(B)(5)(a) of the Basic Agreement.

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