Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has obtained two versions of Project Wolverine – the operational plan of new Marlins owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman – one of which is from August and the other from a couple months before. According to the document, whose name stems from Jeter’s home state of Michigan (the Wolverine State), the Marlins will turn a profit in 2018. Most of that will come from MLB’s sale of BAMTech to Disney, which entitles each team to a one-time payout of $50MM. Otherwise, exactly how much of a profit the Marlins will rake in next season is going to depend largely on their television deal with Fox, Jackson explains.
Back in August, Jeter and Sherman forecast a $68MM “cash flow” profit, but they projected $44.8MM would come via an up-front payment from a renegotiated TV contract with Fox. There hasn’t been a renegotiation yet, though, and if it doesn’t occur, the Marlins’ projected profits would drop to $23MM or lower for next season, Jackson reports. The Marlins’ pact with Fox runs through 2020 and ranks as the lowest-paying TV contract in the majors, and as Jackson notes, it’s a key reason why the team is unwilling to field a larger payroll. Additionally, as of August, the Marlins expected a 2018 spike in attendance revenue, but that now looks questionable at best with fan favorites Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna having been traded in payroll-slashing deals. Looking beyond next season, Jeter and Sherman projected profits of $10MM in 2019, $15.8MM in 2020 and $22MM in 2021 in August, details Jackson, whose piece is well worth a full read.
More from the NL:
- The Dodgers have hired former major league right-hander Mark Prior to serve as their bullpen coach, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links here). Prior had worked as the division-rival Padres’ minor league pitching coordinator since he officially retired from the game in 2013. The 37-year-old was “very good” in that role, notes Brown, who suggests Prior could eventually take over for Rick Honeycutt as the Dodgers’ pitching coach.
- The Rockies re-signed reliever Jake McGee to a three-year, $27MM contract earlier this winter, and he repaid the club by helping recruit closer Wade Davis to Colorado, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post relays. “I told him this was a team that was going to win now,” said McGee. “I told him that (manager) Bud Black was awesome and I really liked how he used the bullpen. I told him the team was awesome and the communication was really good.” McGee and Davis, who joined the Rox last week on a three-year, $52MM pact, previously played together in both the minors and majors as members of the Rays organization. The two were even Single-A roommates at times, Saunders adds.
- Brewers righty Jimmy Nelson, who underwent surgery on a torn labrum in September, told MLB Network on Tuesday that his “rehab is going just about as well as it could possibly go, knock on wood” (via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Its still unclear, though, how much time the 28-year-old will miss next season after emerging as a front-of-the-rotation starter in 2017. For now, Nelson’s “really anxious to start a throwing program and get to spring training.”