Does retooling mean Marlins won’t be spending?

NEW YORK — Heavy spending didn’t produced the desired results, so the Marlins opted to do some “retooling.”

Their four trades in late July moved a number of core players, like Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez and Edward Mujica.

In the process, the team freed up some salary room. Dealing Ramirez to the Dodgers, for instance, wiped the nearly $40 million that’s owed to him through 2014 off Miami’s books. And the Tigers are on the hook for the rest of Infante’s contract. The infielder is making $4 million this year and next.

Many are wondering whether the Marlins will reinvest that money back into player salaries.

The simple answer is the organization will be willing to spend, but they are planning on being careful with their dollars. They don’t want to invest in the wrong players.

Miami’s Opening Day payroll topped $100 million. Chances are, it won’t be that high in 2013. But then again, it also won’t likely dip to much less than $90 million.

Team president David Samson notes there is a fine line between retooling and rebuilding.

“That’s a tough line,” Samson said. “we’re not rebuilding, we’re retooling. The key is, in our opinion we still have the players we need here to win. Whatever combination you put into that pot of players, this year, it didn’t work. So we needed a new combination.”

Will the team be reluctant to spend freely next year?

“We raised the payroll to a record in ’05, and we didn’t win,” Samson said. “We raised the payroll to a record in ’11, and didn’t win. We raised the payroll again to a new record in ’12 and didn’t win. I’m not sure that was the right answer.”

The team isn’t taking a hard stance of not spending again. They just want to be selective.

“Now, if we want to get players who will help us and surround our players, we have to do better,” Samson said. “If we want to go into the free agency market, I’m not saying [Jose] Reyes, [Mark] Buehrle and [Heath] Bell are not good. We need to do better with how the team fits together.”

Joe Frisaro


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