The Miami Marlins pulled the trigger on a massive fire sale/salary dump on Tuesday, sending a handful of players and their backloaded contracts to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Marlins started giving away parts in the middle of the season, shipping out Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. They then started their fire sale in earnest while the postseason was still underway when they sent closer Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-way trade with the Oakland Athletics.
The end result is that -- although the Marlins began their 2012 season with a payroll hovering right around $100 million -- the payroll commitment to their remaining 2013 roster was about $16 million. Easily the biggest payroll dump in recent memory. Counting the players that the Marlins will receive back in the trade, along with their lone arbitration-eligible player, the current payroll is $25 million.
But of course, there's no guarantee that the Marlins won't ship out Escobar, Mathis, or anyone else. Heck, they're shopping Logan Morrison and Ricky Nolasco as we speak. So let's go with that $16 million figure. Which individual athletes were due more in the year 2012 than $16 million? We're glad you asked! This is just a sampling, of course. We wanted to pick the contracts that were the most enlightening, or just the most hilarious.
While you're reading this list, please keep in mind that there are salary caps in the NFL, NBA and NHL.
- Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: $29 million
- Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (2011-12): $25.2 million
- Johan Santana, New York Mets: $24 million
- Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers: $23 million
- Rashard Lewis, Philadelphia 76ers (2011-12): $22.1 million
- Vernon Wells, Los Angeles Angels: $21 million
- Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Magic (2011-12): $19.2 million
- Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants: $19 million
- Peyton Manning, Broncos QB: $18 million
- Elton Brand, 76ers (2011-12): $17 million
And the athletes that came close:
- Andrew Bynum, Lakers (2011-12): $15 million
- Dwight Freeney, Colts DE: $14.035 million
- Elvis Dumervil, Broncos DE: $14 million
- Brad Richards, New York Rangers (2011-12): $12 million
This is also vitally worth noting, in order to keep things in perspective:
In 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox paid $8,037,432. Manny hasn't played for the Dodgers since 2010. Similarly, in 2009, the Dodgers paid Andruw Jones $17.1 million not to play for them. More than the Marlins will pay their entire in-house talent this year. And that's 2009 money, which is still all jazzed-up from seeing Avatar six times.