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Marlins Maybe Dumping Players?

AJBurnett34

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Check it out....its a very good article!!

Marlins in a bind for 2004

By Mike Berardino
Staff Writer
Posted May 28 2003

Marlins management often trumpets its refusal to grant multiyear contracts and the accompanying "payroll flexibility" it wields in self-defense against a bleak economic situation.

That flexibility, however, carries a dark side as well. Namely, the extreme costs of keeping the current nucleus intact.

With five potential free agents and a whopping 15 players likely to qualify for salary arbitration, the Marlins' 2004 payroll projects to just over $81 million, according to industry estimates.

Even if the Marlins' payroll rose slightly to $50 million next year, they still would have to slice more than $30 million from their projected rolls.

With highly touted third baseman Miguel Cabrera hitting .387 at Double-A, All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell ($6.5 million projected) figures to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees have expressed significant interest, sources said, and neither team expects the cost to be prohibitive.

Lowell came up through the Yankees organization and remains a favorite of the front office. A major league source insisted Lowell is "very available."

Lee, being pushed by former top pick Adrian Gonzalez, now in Triple-A, is in a precarious situation as well.

"I'm not sure they're going to be able to keep both Lee and Lowell," said an industry source familiar with the Marlins' payroll plight.

At $48 million, the Marlins rank in the bottom five of major league payrolls. A jump to $81 million would place them 10th out of 30 teams, according to this year's figures.

That projected figure includes a combined $11 million in deferred payments to Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Hampton. It also represents a 69 percent increase from this year's outlay.

The lopping likely will include Rodriguez and second baseman Luis Castillo, his fellow potential free agent. Together, they figure to command close to $20 million on the open market, according to industry estimates.

Rodriguez's one-year deal contains no-trade protection, but Castillo could make the rumor mill churn come July. The Cardinals, who recently lost starter Fernando Vina for up to three months, could seek to reunite Castillo with former keystone partner Edgar Renteria.

Only center fielder Juan Pierre is signed beyond this season. Pierre, who signed a four-year deal with Colorado before the 2002 season, will make $2.3 million next year.

What's more, seven of those arbitration-eligibles would enter the process with five-plus years of service time. According to one industry source, fifth-year arbitration cases are "very rare."

By that point in a player's career, most teams have made a decision on his future. Teams will either lock up such budding stars with a multiyear deal that buys out their remaining arbitration years and often some of their free-agent years or they will trade them before reaching that difficult point.

Moreover, the Basic Agreement provides five-plus arbitration candidates a significant and inherent advantage under the system that has been in place for three decades.

Rather than compare their accomplishments against other players with five-plus years of service time, they can use comparable feats by those who have already achieved free-agent rights.

"Five-plus is Pandora's Box because of the fact you can compare yourself to anybody who's done what you've done," said one agent with extensive experience preparing arbitration cases. "You can compare yourself to everybody, basically."

For example, Lowell, making $3.7 million this season in the final year of a three-year deal, could compare his production to that of the game's highest-paid third basemen, including Arizona's Matt Williams ($10 million this year), the Cardinals' Scott Rolen ($8.5 million next year) and Anaheim's Troy Glaus, who will make $9 million next year.

Lowell, who ranks among the league leaders with 16 home runs and 41 RBI, is outproducing those three so far.

Five other Marlin regulars figure to qualify under five-plus rules: Lee ($4.25 million this year), right fielder Juan Encarnacion ($3.45 million), shortstop Alex Gonzalez ($1.7 million), closer Braden Looper ($1.6 million) and starting pitcher Carl Pavano ($1.5 million).

Backup catcher Mike Redmond, making $1.05 million this year, is the other five-plus candidate.

Of all players on year-to-year contracts this season, three have five-plus years of service time and salaries of more than $4.25 million: Phillies right-hander Kevin Millwood ($9.9 million), Blue Jays outfielder Shannon Stewart ($6.2 million) and Castillo ($4.85 million).

The Marlins, in theory, could have three such players of their own next year: Lee, Lowell and Encarnacion.

It's possible the Marlins would non-tender injured ace A.J. Burnett ($2.5 million) in hopes of bringing him back at a discounted rate. However, sources said the strained relations between the two parties make that scenario unlikely.

Regardless of how they choose to attack the problem, it's clear the Marlins' front office faces a significant financial challenge.

"Sure, they get their payroll flexibility and they can make their decisions on `Do we want this guy?' or `Do we want that guy?''' the industry source said. "But the way they've set things up, they're really at the mercy of the service time."

Last year's Marlins passed the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline with 13 potential arbitration cases on their roster. They whittled that number significantly through releases and non-tenders and wound up going to arbitration with just three players, winning two of those cases.

There were just six arbitration hearings overall this year.

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minus

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Mike Beradino has declared war against the Marlins front office.
 

Ramp

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we now have 0 friends in the press now :(
 

RossInfoMan

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One guy in the press who is very rarely negative about the Marlins and actually usually says very positive things about the Marlins is Joe Rose. I dont listen to him on the radio, but I really appreciate his coverage on tv and I have seen him on many occassions standing behind the Marlins even opposing the other sportscasters on Sports Final on NBC6.
 

Marlins2003

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I too am disappointed that Mike has decided to go over to the dark side.

I'm not sure what he has set out to accomplish, but clearly he's on a mission.

Virtually all the sports reporters and columnists in this market seem incapable of reporting or commenting on the "game". They actually seem to hold the playing of the game in disdain. It gets in the way of their pontificating.

When was the last time you read three paragraphs in the Herald on great infield or outfield play? Or an interview with Mike Lowell that concentrated on his play, not asking him for the one thousandth time how he felt about being traded?

The only things they're interested in are political and economic. Mike B. is obviously is staying up nights playing the revenge game. He isn;t writing just to us (the reader), he is talking directly to the players as well. He is reminding them they are all going to be playing somewhere else in the next two years.
 

Das Texan

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The thing with this article though is that there is no falsehoods about this article.



This is the perils this organization will be faced with, due to their frugality and their insistence on payroll flexibility.


The Marlins WILL be faced with major decisions in the very near future. How they address these issues will be crucial for the future of this organization.


The Marlins would be wise to find ways to do multiyear deals for.....


Alex Gonzalez
Mike Lowell
Carl Pavano
Juan Encarnacion
Braden Looper


The sooner they enter into talks and sign the contracts, the better off this organization will be.


Castillo will be traded. Lee could be traded. Lowell would not shock to see traded. Trading all three of these players will be tantamount to a firesale, especially if comprable Major League talent is not recieved in return.
 

Fish Fillet

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Right on Das Texan.

As dire as the article sounds, there's not much in it that isn't far off the truth. I think the anger directed at Berardino is a case of killing the messenger. The article is just an acute observation of the siuation as it exists.

As for Lowell, there is no way he is a Marlin next year, if not before the trading deadline. He is a consistent all-star that is outperforming the highest paid players at his position in the league. No way the Marlins shell out 8-10 mil on a multi-year deal for anyone.

This is the price we pay for the so-called "payroll flexibility" that Loria, Beinfest and Sampson spun all winter. Doesn't seem so flexible now, does it? Sounds more and more like cheap to me.

And look at the bright side, at least the article is from Berardino and not Le Retard at the Herald. :mischief2

:monkes
 

Ramp

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I still think Lowell will be here next year.

Lee and Castillo will not though.
 

Wild Card

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I still think Lowell will be here next year.

Lee and Castillo will not though.
My thoughts exactly...
 

Hotcorner

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It's going to be interesting, to say the least. The front office managed to make it work somehow during last offseason. This year it will be even more difficult. I expect some changes certainly, but still hope they can hang on to Lowell and Castillo somehow.

Let Pudge go, let Lee go, try & scrape things together after that...

As for Berardino I still think he's pretty objective, but his opinion of the front office has seemed to get steadily lower and lower over time. But what can you say when basically everyone has this poor opinion of them? Can they ALL be biased? I just think the way they handle people & the media, they tend to not make a lot of friends.

Meanwhile I'm praying for the rain to stop. I was all set to catch the double-header today!
 

AJBurnett34

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the Marlins shouldnt Get rid of lowell, I like the way he plays and he is the only one Producing on The Marlins Right now. He is like the best 3rd baseman and he shouldnt be dealt to the Yankees or Cubs no matter who we get in return.

Castillo would probaly leave since we have a good lead off hitter "Juan Pierre"...
 

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