The players' association will monitor the Miami Marlins following their payroll purge. The union says it's too early to determine whether the salary cuts will cause any issues under baseball's labour contract.
After complaints by the union that the Marlins weren't using revenue-sharing money to improve, the players' association, Major League Baseball and the Marlins reached a three-year agreement in January 2010 that the team would increase payroll annually as it prepared to move into its new ballpark in 2012.
After opening last season with a $112 million US payroll, the Marlins cut it to $90 million by the end of the season. With the trade of all-star shortstop Jose Reyes and four others to Toronto on Tuesday, Miami's payroll next season projects to be around $36 million.
Commissioner Bud Selig approved the deal Monday.
"We understand and we're not surprised at the commissioner's decision to approve the trade," union head Michael Weiner said Tuesday. "We'll be monitoring the Marlins for compliance with the Basic Agreement throughout the 2013 season."
Baseball's labour contract requires that revenue-sharing money be used by a team "in an effort to improve its performance on the field." If a team's payroll in a year is less than 125 per cent of its revenue- sharing receipts, the burden to show compliance would shift to the team in a grievance.
"Clearly there is no compliance issue," Weiner said. "They were compliant in 2012 based on their payroll and what their revenue-sharing status was."