After the club came under fire for slashing payroll –– that went from $112 million to $36 million for next season –– Major League Baseball’s players’ association plans to monitor the club to ensure they are following baseball’s regulations.
“We understand and we’re not surprised at the commissioner’s decision to approve the trade,” union head Michael Weiner announced recently. “We’ll be monitoring the Marlins for compliance with the Basic Agreement throughout the 2013 season.”
The Marlins convinced the city of Miami to fund the construction of the team’s new stadium, which opened up last year. In the process, ownership re-branded the Marlins and promised the revenue gained would be used to lure star players.
Last offseason, the Marlins stuck to that promise, hiring manager Ozzie Guillen and signing shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell to lucrative contracts.
One year later, all four are gone. After the Marlins finished last in the National League East in 2012, Miami’s brass fired Guillen, traded Bell to Arizona and shipped Reyes, Buehrle and Josh Johnson –– along with others –– to Toronto.
There have also been concerns that Marlins ownership hasn’t used the revenue-sharing money to improve their club. So on the heels of the fire sale, Weiner will scrutinize the team’s strategy for 2013 and beyond.
“Clearly there is no compliance issue,” Weiner said. “They were compliant in 2012 based on their payroll and what their revenue-sharing status was.”