FanPost

The Marlins and the reality of MLB finances

Mike Ehrmann

After I posted on Facebook, about last night's opening night win, that hopefully the Marlins would not be as embroiled in negativity a friend asked: "But Henry, isn't it frustrating to know that Jose Fernandez will most likely not be in a Marlins uniform in 2 years? You can look past that and enjoy today?"

My answer is that even if the Marlins had never had a "fire sale" in their history and even if we had a deep-pocketed owner there's no guarantee that Fernandez would be in a Marlin uniform in two years. In fact, free agency and the economics of baseball dictate that he probably wouldn't.

The Dodgers have reportedly signed a 25-year - $8 billion contract for their TV rights. As Dan Lebatard noted, before the Dodgers have sold a single ticket or hot dog they start the year with $320 million dollars. Teams like the Marlins can't compete with that. That's a harsh reality but it's reality nonetheless.

You can choose to live in a past where players spent their entire careers with one team or you can wake up to that reality and realize that teams have to be smart with their money. The Marlins can't spend big money on players like Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes if they aren't producing. Few teams can.

In the last 10 years the Yankees have won exactly the same number of World Series championships as the Marlins. The Tigers who just re-signed Miguel Cabrera (a former Marlin) to largest deal in history haven't won a World Series since 1984.

The Dodgers themselves haven't won since 1988. How about the Mets, the Cubs?

The point is spending does not equal winning and nobody has a guarantee of keeping their players anymore, especially teams outside of a handful of major media markets. One can joust windmills or one can enjoy the ride.

So I'll answer his question with a question of my own: What if the Marlins are this year's Pirates? Are you going to stay home pouting about what might happen in two years?

I'll be in the stands cheering.

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