Posted by Juan C. Rodriguez on January 12, 2010 02:59 PM
The Florida Marlins ranked last or second-to-last four consecutive seasons in final payroll. That did not go unnoticed in the Commissioner's Office or with the Players Association.
In a joint statement released Tuesday, the Players Association said it had concerns the Marlins were not in compliance with Article XXIV (B)(5)(a) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That provision states:
"A principal objective of the Revenue Sharing Plan is to promote the growth of the Game and the industry on an individual Club and on an aggregate basis. Accordingly, each Club shall use its revenue sharing receipts (from the Base Plan, the Central Fund Component and the Commissioner’s Discretionary Fund) in an effort to improve its performance on the field. Each Payee Club, no later than April 1, shall report on the performance-related uses to which it put its revenue sharing receipts in the preceding Revenue Sharing Year. Consistent with his authority under the Major League Constitution, the Commissioner may impose penalties on any Club that violates this obligation."
The Marlins were one of "several clubs" Major League Baseball and the Players Association discussed. Here are the statements each of the sides made subsequent "extensive discussions":
MLBPA Executive Directior Michael Weiner: “In response to our concerns that revenue sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the Union and the Commissioner’s Office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark. Today’s agreement, which covers the period 2010 through 2012, calls for ongoing communication among the Marlins, the Commissioner’s Office and the Union as the Marlins proceed with that plan. It also permits, after consultation among all parties, adjustments in the Marlins’ plan to respond to unforeseen developments, and calls for arbitral intervention if disagreements arise. We greatly appreciate the willingness of the Commissioner’s Office and the Marlins to engage with us and ensure that all terms of the Basic Agreement are met.”
Marlins’ President David Samson said: “The Marlins have consistently made every effort to put the best product on the field and our record supports the fact that we have been successful in that regard. Throughout the discussions, the Marlins maintained that there had been no violation of the Basic Agreement at any time. While we know that the Marlins will always comply with the Basic Agreement, we were happy to work cooperatively with the Union and the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.”
MLB Executive Vice President, Labor Relations Rob Manfred added: “The Basic Agreement contains confidentiality provisions that preclude the parties from publicly discussing the specifics of the Marlins’ finances. There will, therefore, be no comment by any of these parties on any further specifics of this agreement. All three parties agree that the Basic Agreement provision on the proper use of revenue sharing dollars is an important part of our agreement. Today’s announcement is the product of a positive dialogue between the MLBPA, the Commissioner’s Office and the Club.”
Bottom line: Looks like the Marlins payroll will increase incrementally leading up to the opening of their new ballpark in 2012, perhaps by greater leaps and bounds than they planned.