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Marlins determine preferred way to trim payroll

Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer, Miami Herald on

Published in Baseball

The Marlins privately have come up with a preferred path to meet their $90 million payroll target, but whether it's entirely realistic is debatable.

According to two sources, the Marlins will look to trade outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who's due $25 million next season, and also will try to trade second baseman Dee Gordon and third baseman Martin Prado.

There could be a market for Gordon, who's due $10.5 million, $13 million and $13.5 million over the next three seasons, with a $14 million team option in 2021.

But it's highly questionable if the Marlins will be able to trade Prado, who's due $13.5 million in 2018 and $15 million in 2019. Prado, who turned 34 on Friday, was limited to 37 games because of injury last season and hit .250.

If the Marlins kept this roster together, their payroll would be $140 million. New owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have told other owners they want to get it to $90 million.

The 2018 salaries of Stanton, Gordon and Prado would add up to $49 million, about what they need to get to $90 million. But that would grow based on salaries of players acquired in those trades.

According to a source, the Marlins ideally prefer not to trade Christian Yelich (on a team-friendly seven year, $49 million deal) or Marcell Ozuna (projected to make $10.9 million in arbitration and a free agent after 2019). They also would ideally like to keep still-cheap J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour and Dan Straily.

But nothing has been ruled out and the Marlins would need to consider dealing any of the aforementioned players if they can't trade Prado or if they don't find a team willing to pick up most of Stanton's financial obligations.

Brian Anderson likely would take over at third base if the Marlins can find a taker for Prado.

-- The number of Marlins employees fired by Jeter is now well above 20, with outfield/baserunning coach Lorenzo Bundy and bullpen coach Jeff Urgelles and the top two public relations/communications executives -- among the latest purged.

-- Jeter called Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez last week to introduce himself. They hope to meet eventually.

-- Manager Don Mattingly, expected to return, will meet with Jeter in the coming days and told The New York Post that "I think this is a chance to make long-term baseball decisions. How do we grow, get better and stay that way? That is the challenge in Miami, kind of like Houston, how do you do something sustainable? ... I am in. I knew what I signed up for."

-- Just as Jeff Conine told us he was turning down Jeter's unappealing offer to stay with the team, Tony Perez told FanRag Sports that he and Andre Dawson rejected Jeter's offer to stay with the Marlins with diminished responsibilities and a pay cut from $100,000 to $25,000.

Jeter previously told then-president David Samson to fire all three, then came back with diminished offers after receiving criticism for that. Jack McKeon, also let go, was not given an offer.

-- Jeter has been hiring a few people from Wall Street for major jobs. Caroline O'Connor, who has a background in finance and wealth management, was appointed to position of chief of staff -- which is common in political offices but a rare title for sports teams.

-- Former owner Jeffrey Loria turned down an offer to be ambassador to France for personal reasons, according to a friend of his.

(c)2017 Miami Herald

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