MLB Forcing Marlins to Spend Cash on Players

It took pending legal action, but the Fish might actually sign a real free agent

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    MIAMI - MARCH 15: A member of the Marlins Manatees performs as the United States takes on the Netherlands during round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at Dolphin Stadium on March 15, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The United States eliminated the Netherlands 9-3. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

    Finally, the Florida Marlins might actually pay someone to help field a competitive team. But it wasn't by choice.

    The perennially frugal Marlins have reached an agreement with the players' union to increase spending as a result of complaints the team payroll has been so small as to violate baseball's revenue sharing provisions.

    The deal was announced Tuesday in a joint statement by the Marlins, the union and Major League Baseball. The parties did not
    comment beyond the statement, and it was unclear how much the Marlins' payroll might increase.

    But any spending would be as shocking as snow falling on Miami. Wait, that might actually happen this year.

    Tuesday's deal simply means the Marlins agree they have been doing the bare minimum, while begging tax payers to help support the construction of a new stadium. They got their wish and maybe Fish fans will get theirs: a team worth the price of admission.

    Fans are more accustomed to fire sales of the team's best players once it's time to pay them their worth. Pretty much every contender in the Majors has a former Marlin star helping the team win. 

    The Marlins could start by resigning ace pitch Josh Johnson to a long-term deal, but the proof the purse strings are off won't be until the organization goes out and signs a free agent. And no, we aren't talking about signing Jeff Conine for the 25th time.

    Baseball's basic agreement requires that each club use revenue sharing receipts in an effort to improve the team. In recent years,
    the union has complained the requirement was not being met by some teams, including the Marlins.