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Hurricane Wilma impacted all of South Florida and the Marlins business offices were no exception.  The offices at Dolphin Stadium were without power for four days hampering any attempt to conduct baseball operations about personnel options.

As for the business end, the storm has hindered efforts to secure corporate sponsors and season tickets. The team's annual charity golf tournament, originally scheduled for early November, now has been postponed. A likely date for the rescheduling of the event is early February.

"That really is our signature event to keep people's minds on the Marlins," Samson said. "We do a lot of business at that golf tournament. I just made the decision that it was the right thing to do, to postpone it."


Already a low-revenue team, the storm likely will affect the product the club puts on the field. Without the projected corporate sponsorships and season-ticket sales, the payroll probably will decline from the record total of $65 million in 2005.

How much of a decrease, assuming that is the decision of owner Jeffrey Loria, remains to be seen. In the past, Loria has extended his resources to give the team a chance to be competitive.

The Marlins still don't have a concrete budget and one doesn't seem to be on the horizon anytime soon. This will basically prevent the club from signing a free agent before they are bidding against the rest of baseball.

I am still a little baffled how the team could hire a manager without a budget.  There is always the possibility they were just planning to deduct the manager's salary from whatever the budget came out to be and since first time managers generally earn between $500,000 and $750,000 this wouldn't be huge hit to the total payroll.  But your guess is as good as mine.

"We had no phone service. We had nothing," Samson said. "So you fall behind on the offseason priority list, in signing six-year free agents, getting ready for arbitration. All the things you have to do, you fall behind. That's the baseball side."

Now you're talking.

The Marlins have 13 free agents and the team is planning on signing only 6.  I presume that arbitration is for the 6 free agents in case a deal can't be reached.

So who are the 6?

My guess is that they are the following:

Damion Easley
Alex Gonzalez
Lenny Harris
Todd Jones
Brian Moehler
Jeff Conine

I really should break down the reasons for my selections but time is getting away from me.  Luckily I think a few of them are obvious and the others are in the realm of possibilities.  

Here is a list of the free agents.  (Well, sort of, you have to move between filed and yet to file)

Feel free to make your own guesses in the comments.