The Marlins, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association issued a joint statement Tuesday saying they had reached an agreement on the team's "continued compliance" in the use of revenue-sharing money in accordance with the Basic Agreement.
The Basic Agreement requires clubs to use their revenue-sharing receipts to improve on-field performance, and the Marlins said they will continue to fully comply, and according to the statement, will increase payroll annually as they look to their new stadium opening in 2012.
"The Marlins have consistently made every effort to put the best product on the field, and our record supports the fact that we have been successful in that regard," Marlins president David Samson said in a statement. "Throughout the discussions, the Marlins maintained that there had been no violation of the Basic Agreement at any time. While we know that the Marlins will always comply with the Basic Agreement, we were happy to work cooperatively with the union and the Commissioner's Office on this matter."
Samson and the club had no additional comment.
The Marlins have said in recent years that payroll will continue to match revenue until they move into their new park in the Little Havana section of Miami for the 2012 season. Florida's payroll in 2009 was $36 million, the lowest in baseball. The Marlins finished above .500 each of the past two seasons, and they were in the playoff race in the second half of each season. Next season, Florida's payroll is expected to be around $40 million.
In the release, the players union said it "has had concerns that certain clubs have not lived up to this requirement" regarding revenue sharing, and the Marlins "are one of a number of clubs that have been discussed." Florida was the only club mentioned.
"In response to our concerns that revenue-sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the union and the Commissioner's Office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark," MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said. "Today's agreement, which covers the period 2010-2012, calls for ongoing communication among the Marlins, the Commissioner's Office and the union as the Marlins proceed with that plan.
"It also permits, after consultation among all parties, adjustments in the Marlins' plan to respond to unforeseen developments, and calls for arbitral intervention if disagreements arise. We greatly appreciate the willingness of the Commissioner's Office and the Marlins to engage with us and ensure that all terms of the Basic Agreement are met."
A revenue-sharing system was adopted in 1997 as a way to create a better competitive balance in the Major Leagues. Article XXIV(B)(5)(a) of the Basic Agreement states that "each club shall use its revenue sharing receipts ... in an effort to improve its performance on the field," adding that "Consistent with his authority under the Major League Constitution, the Commissioner may impose penalties on any club that violates this obligation."
MLB executive vice president of labor relations Rob Manfred stated in the release: "All three parties agree that the Basic Agreement provision on the proper use of revenue-sharing dollars is an important part of our agreement. Today's announcement is the product of a positive dialogue between the MLBPA, the Commissioner's Office and the club."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.