Just when I finish the chart on how bad it had gotten for the Marlins' payroll, it got worse. Over the weekend, Florida released an AWOL Pokey Reese, thereby saving his eight hundred thousand dollar salary. Or to be more precise, the saved the $473 K difference between Reese and a league-minimum, replacement-level shnook, which given the Marlins' ways of late, he surely will be.
So that lowers the projected Marlins payroll to just $14,837,000. They potentially will leapfrog the 1998 Pittsburgh Pirates ($15,065,000) for the fourth-lowest in the the last twenty-one years (the era for which we have salary data). (See the payroll numbers below.)
Of course, that could get lower if guys like Wes Helms ($800K), Joe Borowski ($1 M), Brian Moehler ($1.5M) get moved to lower the payroll more. The payroll devoted to their top four salaries (those three plus Dontrelle Willis $4.35 M), is almost as much as they have devoted to the next 23 guys on the roster ($7,650,000 to $8,241,000).
With this team, I wouldn't be surprised if Willis or potential arbitration-eligible Miguel Cabrera get the heave-ho by season's end. This team won't be a Triple-A club; it'll be a bad Mexican League club. Maybe we can outsource their jobs south of the border and kill two birds with one stone or rather pelota.