Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 11/18/14

On Opening Day 2011, the Florida Marlins payroll was a paltry $57 million, and that represented an increase of over $10 million from 2010.  My, how times change.  So far at this week’s winter meetings, the Marlins have signed closer Heath Bell to a 3 year $27 million deal, starter Mark Buehrle for 4 years and $58 million, and shortstop Jose Reyes to a staggering 6 year $106 million backloaded contract.  As if that’s not enough to make your head spin, they’re doggedly pursuing C.J. Wilson, and are willing to go to 6 years, which is a longer deal than anyone else has offered.  And lest you forget, the most frustrating player in baseball, Hanley Ramirez, is under contract through 2014, and is still owed over $46 million.

Of course, nothing involving Ramirez ever goes easily.  After signing Reyes, the Marlins planned to move Ramirez to third, a notion that didn’t sit especially well with Hanley.  Ramirez reportedly wants to be traded rather than switch positions.  I’m not sure which teams would be players for Ramirez on the trade market, but he has a high price tag for a player notorious for being a problem child.  How many more moves do the Marlins plan to make?  What are the chances that Reyes plays all 6 of those years in Miami?  That remains to be seen.  This much is certain, however.  The Marlins are set to open their new stadium with a payroll higher than at any point in the last decade, and that’s after Albert Pujols declined their 10 year offer.  The fish look to be serious about competing in the NL East.

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