It’s been a quiet 2020-21 offseason for the Miami Marlins. Coming off a long-awaited postseason berth, the franchise has spent just $10.75 million on major league free agents (including the not-yet-official Adam Duvall signing). The Fish declined to seriously pursue the market’s top hitters and relievers despite comments from general manager Kim Ng admitting the roster’s weaknesses in those areas. Even the most generous of payroll estimates has them projected for less than $62M in commitments this season (a substantial dip from 2020 spring training).
As if that wasn’t enough circumstantial evidence of the Marlins’ financial struggles, former team president David Samson drew attention on Wednesday to a GoFundMe campaign. It was taken offline shortly after Samson’s tweet.
Craig Mish of the Miami Herald has more details:
There was a Marlins related gofundme online earlier today which has since been deactivated. I’m told by Marlins it was a “well-intentioned” employee who posted it. His attempt I’m told was to help furloughed staff, but didn’t check w organization first on potential assistance.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 10, 2021
Donations were made by Manager Don Mattingly, Bench Coach James Rowson and others. I’m told the money will be returned to the donators and the organization will have internal conversations to see how they can assist.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 10, 2021
Fish Stripes browsed through the campaign earlier on Wednesday and can confirm the following details:
- The campaign, which used the Marlins logo, was titled “Miami Marlins Player Development Staff” and organized by Danny M. Henriquez. “Please contribute to our player development staff who have been impacted by the unfortunate events of COVID-19,” he wrote. “All contributions will be greatly appreciated!” Henriquez joined the organization a couple years ago as an intern and now holds the title of Manager, Player Development, according to the official Marlins website.
- The campaign was created last Friday with a goal of $20,000 and had raised $9,433 before being paused.
- Manager Don Mattingly contributed $1,000. So did Marlins bench coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson, Latin America pitching coordinator Ivan Arteaga and one other anonymous donor. Those were the largest individual donations. Longtime baseball scout and coach Al Pedrique paid $100 even though he just joined the Marlins for the first time as the new manager of their Triple-A Jacksonville affiliate.
- Every donation was made between Monday and Wednesday. About half of the donors did so anonymously; all of the others were full-time Marlins employees (coaches, analysts, scouts and other front office executives). The average donation amount was between $300-$350.
Marlins leadership can attempt to make amends now, but they’re responsible for creating this problem in the first place. Approximately 40% of Miami’s baseball operations staffers were furloughed during the summer of 2020 when the Minor League Baseball season was canceled and MLB reduced its regular season to 60 games. Some of them are still furloughed as of this writing, according to Mish, while the 2021 minor league schedule is being finalized.