Marlins fans are in a sorry situation right now. Not only have they been bilked by their mischievous owner, but their favorite players are now scattered across the United States and Canada.
What is even more asinine for this parsimonious front office is that they are holding on to remnants of a well structured team in Ricky Nolasco and Giancarlo Stanton. This stubbornness stems from a slap on the wrist from the Major League Baseball Players Association in early 2010.
The Marlins “assured the union and the commissioner’s office that they planned to use revenue sharing proceeds to increase the player payroll annually as they moved toward the opening of their new ballpark.” Now that the Marlins are left in shambles from their trades, they are projected to spend approximately $30 million in player payroll. By comparison, a $30 million payroll would put the Marlins dead last in last season’s salary rankings — by about $25 million. This is a precipitous $88 million drop from last year’s team salary for the “new-look” Marlins.
And with Ricky Nolasco taking up more than one third of the payroll, the Marlins are trying to salvage their reputation—now, of all times. Although not monetarily driven, the Marlins are keeping Giancarlo Stanton for the same reason — public relations. If this team were to care about perception, they would not be in this predicament. It is peculiar for the team to start caring about its fans now.
The Marlins are headed towards a lastplace finish, so it is inconsequential whether Giancarlo Stanton and “ace” Ricky Nolasco are still in town. Stanton could garner a boatload — a Herschel Walker type package — if shipped off to another club.
Miami is already rebuilding the team and it is logical to surround these new prospects with more prospects.
Nolasco could be sent to a contending team looking for a middle-of-the-rotation starter for a smaller sum, because of his whopping salary. The only reason he is still on this team is so that the Marlins can bolster their payroll.
In Nolasco’s case, the value to the team and dollar value in his paycheck is incongruous. He is the highest player on the team — by $9 million.
Stanton brings the most value to the team although he is paid the minimum salary, $490,000. Stanton’s value will never be higher, as well. He still has one year remaining at the minimum salary and he is one of the most prolific power hitters in the MLB at age 23.
However, his reticence to sign a long-term contract with the Marlins has been discussed. His affinity towards the West Coast and his lack of trust (rightly earned) towards the front office are among the detractors.
If he won’t get locked up long-term, ship him off. There is no reason to have an oasis in this barren wasteland that is a Major League Baseball team. It hurts to visualize it and the fan in me hates me for thinking it. The realist in me knows that this trade is a necessity and that not making it could be a big mistake. Preston Michelson is a senior at Palmer Trinity School where he is the public address announcer for all varsity sporting events.
Contact him on Twitter at @PrestonMich or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org