Marlins reportedly close to stadium deal, Tuesday’s minor transactions
Crede gets a deal
Endy Chavez gets a raise
Dontrelle Willis gets some money
M’s agree to a one-year deal with Broussard to avoid arbitration
Greg Dobbs claimed off waivers by the Phillies
Most interesting to me are reports that the Marlins may be able to get a new stadium. They want a ridiculous $500m retractable-roof monstrosity, which… whatever. It appears the new governor’s bought into spending money, on the economic benefit canard, and they’re going to get more from city and local sources.
First, the Marlins really do have a horrible lease, and a bad stadium, and they’ve been one of the few teams that could complain about how badly their home hurt them. Sure, their ownership group sucked, but no rational businessman’s going to spend a ton of money when your potential returns are capped extremely low. Of course, no rational businessman would voluntarily get into that situation, especially if the previous guys spent the off-season going around burning bridges. But anyway.
Getting the Marlins into a nice stadium is good for the team and it’s good for baseball’s larger economic healthy. Having crippled franchises in a world where such a heavy amount of revenue is shared helps no one.
The second thing, though, is that MLB won another stadium using exactly the same tactics they used to get the rest of the last wave. They kicked and screamed and threatened, and finally someone caved. That’s not news, right? It is. MLB has, in their not-secret but not-generally-talked-about fund, a colossal sum of money. Selig could have written a check for a new Marlins stadium. Or they could have loaned the money to the Marlins, or financed it themselves.
Now, I understand why they might not have wanted to do those things, especially when they could threaten local governments. But they didn’t have to do that. The reason the Marlins are in such a financial bind is, to simplify too much, all their stadium money goes right to their former owner.
MLB let that go on for years. They didn’t threaten to build a new stadium, or buy the Marlins out of their lease, in order to help renegotiate the lease. They let the team gush money to him for years because it helped make the Marlins more pathetic, and that helped them get public money.