Old Habits Die Hard

Thursday, February 23, 2012

If you thought the Marlins free spending ways would mean their penny-pinching habits of the past would die out, think again.

The club's handling of guys with less than three years of service time is perturbing both their players and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association alike, according to a report on Fox Sports. Per the new collective bargaining agreement, the major league minimum salary is increasing from $414,000 to $480,000. The Marlins aren't required to pay their 0-3 players a dime more, but here’s the issue: Someone like Gaby Sanchez with more than two years of service time might be making the same salary as the considerably less accomplished Jose Ceda, who has logged 96 days.

Most teams have a pay scale for their non arbitration-eligible players. They give raises from one year to the next based on everything from awards won (Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, Player of the Week, Rookie of the Month, etc.) to service time accumulated. The Marlins are widely considered to have one of, if not the worst, scales out there.
This is both mind-bogglingly stupid and pretty hilarious. A team that re-signed a middling reliever who is languishing in the Domincan Republic with visa/identity issues to a $6 million deal doesn't want to give a few young players a raise of only tens of thousands of dollars. It is disturbing and pathetic, but really not all that surprising that the team wouldn't operate in good faith with guys like Gaby Sanchez, who was an All-Star and posted a 2.9 WAR last year. It's a wonder anyone would ever want to play here.

This is also coming off the heels of the Marlins recent arbitration cases (mainly, two losses against Anibal Sanchez and Emilio Bonifacio) where they went to court over small differences in salary offers. In Bonifacio's case, he got the $2.2 million he wanted instead of the $1.95 the Marlins were offering. Playing hardball for the last $250,000, after committing over $140 million in the winter? Soooooo Marlins.


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