Barry Jackson

Marlins’ Jeter drops more employees; More payroll challenges

Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, left to right, hold their first press conference as Marlins owners on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.
Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, left to right, hold their first press conference as Marlins owners on Tuesday, October 3, 2017.

Some Marlins notes on a Monday:

• New ownership quietly has dropped a handful of employees in scouting and player development. It’s unclear if they will replace any of those employees, whose contracts are expiring.

That means Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has dropped nearly 15 employees since taking over, which isn’t particularly unusual in an ownership change.

A bunch of others haven’t been told if they will be retained longterm.

Jeter has left open the possibility of bringing back four of those employees - Jack McKeon, Andre Dawson, Jeff Conine and Tony Perez.

• One person who appears likely to be retained: Stan Meek, the Marlins’ vice president/scouting. The team has been talking to Meek about a contract extension.

But it wouldn’t be surprising if Meek reports to Gary Denbo, the Marlins’ new vice president/player development and scouting.

Jeter lured Denbo from the Yankees last week.

• One Marlins official expects Denbo or Marlins president/baseball operations Michael Hill to speak to Yankees GM Brian Cashman about the possibility of other Yankees employees joining the Marlins.

As we’ve reported, Jeter has interest in adding Yankees special assistant and former Cubs GM Jim Hendry to his inner circle of Marlins decisions makers, which includes Jeter, Hill and Denbo.

Esteemed baseball writer Peter Gammons said Hendry could join the Marlins as general manager, though he would rank under Hill in the Marlins hierarchy in that scenario.

• Jeter announced over the weekend that the Marlins are contributing $200,000 to hurricane relief efforts.

• Even a Marlins official admitted that Jeter and Bruce Sherman bid more than the Marlins were worth ($1.2 billion).

• With Jeter and Sherman telling owners that they plan to cut payroll to $90 million, keep in mind that more than one-third of the Marlins’ payroll commitments for 2018 are to two pitchers with health issues: Edinson Volquez (due $13 million and expected to miss the season after Tommy John surgery) and Wei Yin Chen (due $18 million; hopes to pitch despite arm problems the past two years, but no guarantees).

• If the Marlins kept Giancarlo Stanton at $25 million next season, which is unlikely, that would mean $57 million of that projected $90 million payroll would be committed to three players - Stanton, Volquez and Chen, with Volquez likely out for 2018. That’s why keeping Stanton isn’t realistic.

The Marlins’ payroll would top $140 million next season if they kept this exact team together.