Owner Jeffrey Loria said Saturday he will boost the salaries, but not until the stadium opens in 2011.
"It's a function of revenues, and we were not really able to derive any revenues out of (Dolphin Stadium)," Loria said of the payroll, which is expected to be the lowest in baseball this season.
"As we get closer to the stadium, those things will change. We need to be in that facility and make things happen."
(emphasis is mine)
The normal thing for a team to do is increase the payroll in advance of playing in a new facility. The thought being, that the club will see an increase in attendance, if for no other reason than the novelty of attending a game in the new park. What most organizations try to do is put a competitive team on the field, complete with the fan favorites in order to keep bringing people back to the new facility once the novelty has worn off.
It doesn't have to field an outright contender for the division championship or even one that is will be in the wild-card hunt. But it really should be one that will make some noise.
But the Marlins and normal, don't often collide in the same sentence.
If Loria is true to his word, and there is no reason to think he isn't since this has been the official company line for sometime, it could pose a problem.
Other first-time arbitration-eligible players such as Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Mike Jacobs and Scott Olsen should garner significant raises as well.
The Marlins will enter this season with about a $19 million dollar payroll. I just hope that isn't the metric that will be used in the next few years. Because if it is, when the Marlins play in their inaugural season in the new park the casual fan will recognize almost none of the players names.
As it stands right now, the Marlins put a fun, exciting team to watch on the field. Should they choose to see them depart, they will end up like the Pirates who squandered the benefits of having a new stadium.