After gaining ownership in 2002, the Marlins have done some crazy stuff with their payroll. Look at their payroll and payroll ranking since Jeff Loria became owner in 2002:
2002: $ 41,979,917 – 25th
2003: $ 45,050,000 – 25th
2004: $ 42,143,042 – 25th
2005: $ 60,408,834 – 19th
2006: $ 14,998,500 – 30th
2007: $ 30,507,000 – 29th
2008: $ 21,811,500 – 30th
2009: $ 36,834,000 – 30th
2010: $ 47,429,719 – 26th
2011: $ 57,695,000 – 24th
2012: $ 118,078,000 – 7th
Keep in mind that in 2006, when the payroll was under $15 million, the Marlins received $31 million in revenue sharing…POCKETING $16 million while Loria was demanding a new stadium to help draw fans, while he wasn’t giving the fans a team worth seeing AND still making money. Shocking. The new stadium…publicly funded at nearly 75 percent. Nice job, Loria.
After using the expected revenue from the new stadium, and possibly, the money that he pocketed over the years in revenue sharing, the Marlins added quite a bit of payroll prior to the 2012 season when they signed Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. The club had Hanley Ramirez under contract at shortstop and moved him to third base before moving him to the Los Angeles Dodgers, while adding to Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez in the rotation with Buehrle before dealing Sanchez to Detroit on July 23.
After one season of fielding a potential contender, Loria is working on another fire-sale, which could, potentially, leave the Miami Marlins with a payroll of around $30 million in 2013.
The reported deal between the Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays:
Reyes was due $96 million between 2013 and 2017 and either a $4 million buyout or $22 million in 2018, Josh Johnson was due $13.75 million before reaching free agency after the 2013 season, and Mark Buehrle was due $48 million between 2013 and 2015.
After finishing 69-93 in 2012, the group that the Marlins had put together for the inaugural season in Marlins Park was deemed a disaster. While the Boston Red Sox dealt Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers to free up payroll to start over, the Marlins seemed to make this deal to go an entirely different route. A total rebuild and focus on youth with a minimal payroll, and this is happening one year after the team signed Reyes and Buehrle while STILL trying to add Albert Pujols along with them, before losing out to the Angels. Could you imagine if this deal was going down with Pujols in it, too?
Jeff Loria has made the Marlins look like a complete joke, once again. However, bigger than that, he played the city of Miami into funding a new stadium for him to continue fielding a losing team while pocketing revenue from teams that actually spend money and create revenue by winning and having a desire to win.
Jeff Loria is bad for baseball. Jeff Loria is possibly worse than any performance-enhancing drug, the lack of replay, or Scott Boras. There are only 30 teams in Major League Baseball and there is certainly a millionaire or billionaire out there who could provide Miami and Marlins’ fans with a better, more respectable product. Bud Selig should step in.