In a contentious interview with ESPN, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred denied knowing that Derek Jeter and the new Marlins ownership group planned to slash payroll. However, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday that two unidentified sources involved in the sale process claimed that Jeter, the team's CEO and co-owner, and controlling owner Bruce Sherman informed other MLB owners they planned to cut the team's payroll to the $85 million to $90 million range. MLB owners approved the sale of the Marlins in September for $1.2 billion to a group of investors headed by Sherman and Jeter. The team's payroll would have been around $140 million this season, but the Marlins in recent weeks have traded stars Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon, bringing the 2018 payroll into the $94 million range, according to the Herald. Manfred told ESPN Radio host Dan Le Betard on Wednesday that he was unaware of the Marlins' payroll plans, prompting Le Betard to say, “We are starting with a lie." “I’m not going to have you call me a liar!” Manfred said (via the Herald). Manfred went on to deny MLB had any "player-specific plans" from Jeter's group or any other prospective ownership group. The Herald noted that a source who heard the radio interview later texted, “Commissioner said was not aware of [Jeter] plan to slash payroll. Absolutely not true. They request and receive the operating plan from all bidders." The source claimed the payroll plan was "vetted and approved by MLB."
Report refutes Manfred claim MLB unaware Jeter, Marlins plan to gut payroll
Sporting News | Dec 21