Marlins Trade LF Marcell Ozuna To Cardinals, Bringing Team Closer To Its $90M Salary Mark
The Marlins' trade of LF Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals puts the team's net cost savings so far this offseason at $37.5M in '18 payroll, "bringing them closer to their target" of about $90M, according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. The team still needs to "unload one or more contracts to reach that goal." The trades of Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon also are bringing the Marlins "closer to their goal of rebuilding the organization 'from the bottom up.'" The Marlins now are "listening to offers" on CF Christian Yelich, but it is "unclear whether they intend to trade him ... or hold on to him" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/14). The Marlins said that the moves, "while painful, were necessary to undo the mistakes of the previous regime." In DC, Dave Sheinin notes the Marlins' owners are also reportedly seeking $250M in investment capital, "raising concerns about their financial wherewithal to compete." In the Marlins’ 25 years of existence, "no other franchise’s fan base has been put through such extreme highs and lows" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/14).
GIVE HIM A CHANCE: Marlins manager Don Mattingly said criticisms being directed at CEO Derek Jeter have been "unfair," but the team’s new CEO "might be the first to admit that (he) would do some things a little differently." The HERALD's Spencer notes Jeter has "come under attack for some initial missteps." But Mattingly said that Jeter is "probably experiencing the same sort of growing pains as a front office executive as he did early on as a player." Mattingly: "He’s had a lot on his plate, a lot going on, a lot happening very fast." He added, "We needed to reset. It wasn’t working. What we were trying to accomplish and the way we were trying to do it, it just wasn’t working. We had to get a model going that was sustainable" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/14). Mattingly said, "I understand the disappointment of the fans in Miami, and I see the negativity that's been going on around us. It's one of those things you look at and don't quite understand, but maybe it's from what's happened in the past, and that's where you just encourage fans to know this is a different time. It's a different group. Give us a shot" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 12/14).
ALL PART OF THE PLAN? Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill noted Jeter and Marlins Chair Bruce Sherman have a "commitment to South Florida, to bring this organization to prominence, to build it the right way." Hill said, "That's our goal, and we know that it's not going to be easy. We know there's going to be tough decisions that we have to make through this process, but there is a plan in place." He added, "The pathway to success is not a quick one. We know that we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work and make good decisions and make tough decisions" ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 12/13).