Though the Marlins fielded a $115MM payroll last season in Jeffrey Loria’s final year of ownership, the financial plan of the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter ownership group doesn’t call for payroll to return to those heights until 2021, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson cites a pair of copies of the financial plan provided to potential investors, entitled Project Wolverine, in providing a number of details on the Marlins’ upcoming year-to-year payrolls as well as some aggressive revenue and attendance projections.
Notably, while the Marlins are aiming for a payroll around $90MM in 2018, the plan projects even lower payrolls in 2019-20 ($81MM and $84.8MM, respectively), before jumping back into the nine-figure range. Part of the reason for the healthier number in 2018 could be the one-time $50MM payout that all 30 MLB teams are receiving after Disney’s acquisition of BAMTech, per Jackson. (Beyond that, Edinson Volquez, Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa will be off the books after 2018.) It’s unclear whether trades of additional MLB assets will significantly alter those projections, though Jackson notes that Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro are available “for the right price,” while the team is (unsurprisingly) amenable to trading Tazawa ($7MM in 2018) and Ziegler ($9MM in ’18).
A bit more out of Miami…
- If the Marlins do hang onto Yelich, he could once again be ticketed for left field duty, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Yelich and Marcell Ozuna flipped positions this past season, with Yelich moving from left field to center field, but the acquisition of Magneuris Sierra (in the trade that sent Ozuna to St. Louis) gives Miami a center field option with elite speed. Miami could line up an outfield with Yelich in left, Sierra in center and speedy Braxton Lee in right field, giving the Fish a rangy trio that is lacking in the power department. However, Frisaro notes that Miami is still open to adding another right field option (be it via trade or a presumably low-cost option on the free agent market).
- At least 15 teams have called the Marlins on Yelich, per Frisaro, while another dozen or so are showing interest in Realmuto. Miami isn’t willing to move either player for anything less than a substantial overpay in terms of prospects and young talent, though. Frisaro lists the Cardinals, Phillies, Braves and D-backs as teams that have spoken to Miami about Yelich.
- Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel takes a look at the Marlins’ growing analytics department, reporting that former Yankees executive Dan Greenlee will now oversee the department. Former analytics head Jason Pare recently took a job as an assistant general manager with the Braves under new GM Alex Anthopoulos, and while Greenlee was initially tabbed as an interim head of the department, he’ll now oversee those operations on a permanent basis. Miami has also hired a new senior analyst (Myles Lewis), promoted analyst Michael Lord to analytics coordinator and is still seeking to hire another developer and another data analyst.