If you have the money spend it? Is that the motto of everyone from national government to professional baseball teams? The Marlins have apparently walked into a small fortune of some kind. Now that I’ve stated the obvious I can’t help but wonder if this organization is out of their minds? What are they thinking?
There must be something in the water in South Beach that is making people go insane. The Miami Heat spent a ton of money on 3 players and formed a very strong big 3. It didn’t win them a championship but this plan was much better then whatever scheme the Marlins are trying to pull right now. Let’s break it down.
Albert Pujols: No he’s not a Marlin yet but the 200 million dollar offer is on the table. Miami is a great place to play sports. They will have a new stadium. The team just signed Jose Reyes. There’s lots of reason why Pujols may be tempted to head south. However the Marlins would be getting the raw end of this deal. Pujols will turn 32 in January. So that will be his age when he “officially” starts his tenure as the Marlins 1st basemen. You are going to offer him a contract that lasts for 10 years? Are you out of your mind? Emotions are the enemy of reason and I firmly believe that applies here. Marlins management just wants to put stars on the field to draw fans and try to win right now in a very tough division. However some common sense needs to be applied here. By the time the contract is up Pujols will be 42 years old. Who wants a 42 year old 1st baseman? In 5 years Pujols will not be the same player he is right now, that’s just the natural progression of age. Look at what the Yankees are dealing with in terms of A-Rod. They are seriously questioning his deal right now and the Marlins aren’t even living in the same financial neighborhood as the Yankees.
Jose Reyes: Everyone is excited about this signing that is official now. However do Marlins management and fans realize that Reyes has missed 191 games in the past 3 seasons? Call me crazy but I’d be a little worried about this guy’s health if I was going to fork over 100 million dollars cause the guy is made out of GLASS! Glass is a lot of things but durable isn’t a word I’d use to describe it. You want a guy to play 150 games or more for that kind of money and I’d be shocked if Reyes could give them that. Not to mention when he is banged up he doesn’t hesitate to sit and never hurries back from injuries. Combining him with Hanley Ramirez could potentially be a disaster.
Hanley Ramirez: Speaking of the Marlins current or should I say former Short Stop, this is another area of concern for the Marlins. Does he really want to move to 3B? He says he’ll do “whatever it takes” but it’s easy to say that in the middle of winter when you’re sitting at home listening to excited fans talk about your team for the first time in your career. However it’s another thing when you have to go out and actually play 3B at the major league level. His shoulder is still a concern for the team and putting him at 3B just creates even longer throws across the diamond. Do I think Hanley can play 3B, honestly I think he’s athletic enough to make the adjustment but it’s not Hanley’s athletic ability that concerns us. It’s what goes on in between the guys ears that concerns me and should concern the Marlins. If he’s not happy at 3B is he going to act up? Is he going to look to be traded? What is his trade value right now?
Yes the Marlins built a new stadium but there’s no reason to believe that attendance is guaranteed to sky rocket. The team wasn’t selling out games in 2003 when the team won the World Series. There is a lack of interest in baseball down there as both the Marlins and Rays have showed us. People from Florida can argue this all they want but those two teams are always at the bottom of the attendance rankings, year after year. The fans can say that they don’t want to go to a football stadium to watch a baseball game and maybe that’s been the problem all along. But this is the year to prove your loyalty to your team. You’ll have a brand new ball park to call home and with all of these pricey contracts the Marlins have lined up they will certainly have to sell A LOT of tickets.
I respect the teams willingness to compete but when you tie up so much money in just a few players you are asking for trouble. 200 million dollars is a lot of money for a small market club to spend on one guy, especially one that will be 42 when the contract ends. You may have team chemistry issues on the horizon.
The Marlins think they’re building a modern day Titanic. I agree because I believe it will sink like a rock to the bottom of the ocean.
By: Bob McVinua
The free agent market this year might not have a TON of depth to it but the top 3 players are very strong. When you look at guys like Pujols, Fielder and Reyes being available to the open market there’s potential for a team to make huge strides with a single stroke of the pen.
This is not only exciting to general managers across baseball but also to the fans that support their teams with such a high level of passion. The first domino has dropped as Reyes appears to be taking his talents to south beach just as Lebron James did. For Lebron there was a lot of appeal going down there. The chance to play with guys like Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh would tempt any NBA player. But what about Reyes? What made him make such a quick decision?
I’d like to start off by saying that the decisions was rushed. It’s not even November 10th and Reyes is finalizing the biggest and most important contract of his entire life. There are generally 3 stages of a players career if they are of super star status. You go from being an up and coming star at the beginning of your career earning less money then you feel you should in most cast cases. This is your chance to work hard and prove to teams everywhere that you belong and that you can be a force in this league for a long time. Then you have the big contract time. The prime of your career where you want to get paid for all the work you’ve put into this game. All the batting practice and all the ground balls are finally going to land you a big contract. This is often your longest contract as well. Then you slowly start to fade into your mid 30’s and things quiet down a bit. If you’re a good player then you will still get a deal somewhere but it’s not going to be as lucrative or as long. You’ll often see players bouncing around from team to team as they end their careers.
Was it the money that lead Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins? Was it that he believed they were a contender and that he had a legit chance of winning a championship with them? Was it Ozzie?
The Marlins are far from a “big market” club as they have a bottom 10 payroll in the league currently sitting 24th as of last season. Yes they gave Reyes a great contract with the money that he was looking for but what does this mean for the franchise? Between Hanley and Jose the Marlins are spending roughly 26 million dollars a season. The team currently has a payroll of 56 million dollars. Is that concerning to anyone else? The fact that 2 players out of 25 make up half the teams payroll?
They will have to fill out the roster with low budget players who are making roughly 1-2 million each. Last year their average salary was 2.1 million dollars and that was without Jose Reyes. On top of that Josh Johnson the teams ace is set to earn over 7 million dollars this season as well. They will have to increase payroll slightly but I can’t seem them doing anything extreme.
The Marlins are a team with a VERY shaky fan base. They haven’t been competitive in the division in quite some time. Will the move to Miami really make that much of a difference? Will a new stadium suddenly revive a fan base? Or will the addition of Jose Reyes really be able to take the Marlins to the next level?
All I’m trying to say is that Jose Reyes rushed this decision for reasons that I’m not sure of at this moment. He will be in Florida for quite some time going forward and baseball of all sports is the one I’d least like to be on a losing team. 162 games will grind you up if your team is in the seller and out of the race by June 30th. That’s a lot of meaningless games as you head down the stretch.
If I were Reyes I would have gone to a weaker division, one where I could have been more competitive. Maybe the N.L West? That’s a wide open division where one team isn’t likely to dominate next year. The Giants will be decent as will the D-backs and Rockies. There’s no clear cut favorite there.
However in the N.L East there’s NO WAY the Marlins make the playoffs playing in that division. I will guarantee that right now. The Phillies are still too good and the Braves and Nationals are also improving as well. If the Nationals can sign Prince then they are leaps and bounds better then the Marlins. I don’t see the Marlins finishing any better then 3rd next year and I’m not sure they can be better then anyone but the Mets.
Reyes might have signed up for several more years of basement of the division finishes. Unless it doesn’t bother him. Maybe he took location and the new stadium into consideration. I would just imagine that a guy with his skill set would like to showcase his abilities on the big stage that’s all.
By: Bob McVinua