The Miami Marlins may soon have a new owner, but their payroll may not change in a significant way.
While the team has not commented on a possible sale, there have been multiple reports of progress being made with a group that includes Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter. Different figures have been thrown around and there is no timetable for a completed sale.
Assuming he becomes an owner of the Marlins, Bush let it be known that he has some possibly unpopular ideas for the team's payroll.
"Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap, which is what you have to self-impose as an owner,” Bush said, according to the Miami Herald. "You have to have the discipline to identify players the right way…There’s no correlation between high salaries and winning."
That quote could be an eye-opening one for local fans, who have seen Miami's payroll pale in comparison to other teams in past seasons. The Marlins have been unable to outbid other teams on premiere free agents at times and that may remain the case going forward.
Prior to the 2012 season, current owner Jeffrey Loria went on a shopping spree at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings. Loria signed multiple lucrative contracts, but did not get the results he hoped for. Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were all brought on board during that off-season and none lasted long with the team.
Loria splurged at other times in the past with little success as well. Jarrod Saltalamacchia famously signed a multi-year deal and was then cut loose with more than a season left on the contract. John Buck put his name on a big contract and ended up being dealt away in a blockbuster deal with Toronto. Last year, the Marlins handed out a large contract to Wei-Yin Chen and he has thus far not lived up to the lofty salary totals.
The key for Bush if he becomes owner, will be retaining talent. While the former Governor has not stated his intentions in that area, it would be one way to spend money without going the free agency route. The Marlins have traded away many players over the years, when their salaries began to rise. Being able to keep homegrown talent around longer, could be just as beneficial as bringing free agents on board.
While making his comments on the salary, Bush also confirmed that he will work on the business side of things for Miami. Jeter meanwhile would run the baseball operations department, if a sale is completed.