What Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria did to the Marlins franchise and to their fans last week is criminal and I honestly feel this was Miami’s plan all along.
They signed all these players to these big contracts last year but how much did they actually have to pay out? Hanley was gone by mid season and the Dodgers took over his deal and now every single free agent is gone. In less than 12 months every notable signing is with a different team and all that’s left is Giancarlo Stanton… for now, Even Ozzie Guillen is gone.
This is insane. One year? You couldn’t possible have a long-term plan for the future if you can’t even make it through a calendar year without blowing up the franchise.
I’m willing to bet that Jose Reyes’, Mark Buehrle’s, and Heath Bells’ contracts were back loaded so the first year only looked inflated with the bulk of the money not due until the end of the deal; and now the Marlins don’t even have to pay it at all – it’s the perfect crime. They got nothing of real comparable value back. At least the Red Sox got Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands for their big ‘salary dump’.
Even new Marlins Park was paid for with taxpayer money, so that didn’t cost Loria anything either.
The worst part of this whole thing is that even though I feel bad for the players who signed on to play in Miami with great expectations but couldn’t even make it out of 2012, what about the fans… oh the fans? You know that attendance will drop next season, probably by half or more. I think that the fans will boycott the team next season, just as Cuban fans did last year when Ozzie opened his big mouth about Fidel Castro.
I think Major League Baseball should take the Miami Franchise away from Loria because what he did is criminal – to the players, to the fans, to the city of Miami, and to the taxpayers.
Let this be a lesson to any current and future free agent looking for a multi-year deal. If a team isn’t even willing to consider the idea of a no trade clause, for any of its players, not just you, leave the table and block their number. If you sign with them you are no longer a free agent. You have just entered the draft at that point.