Tim McCarver, who I think most of us will agree is an idiot, brought something up during today’s Phillies-Marlins game that I thought was interesting. And that, frankly, is a first.
The Marlins, McCarver pointed out, have a payroll of about $15 million. That is by far the lowest in baseball. There are several players on other teams who make more money than the entire Marlins roster.
But, because Florida is so poor/bad, they receive $30 million in revenue sharing. So, even if they don’t sell a single ticket, they stand to make at least $15 million.
I know what you’re saying. My math doesn’t include the costs associated with paying employee salaries, stadium improvements, field maintenance, or marketing. But it also doesn’t factor in revenue from TV contracts, ticket sales, or concession sales.
Last season, the Marlins lost $11.9 million. So before this season started, the team cut $75 million from its payroll. Now I guarantee they won’t lose money.
So my question is this: is it possible for a major league team with a low payroll to lose money? And if not, what’s to stop owners who only care about profit and not about winning from employing a bunch of rookies every year?