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Creating financial flexibility a priority for Marlins

Miami actively seeking naming-rights deal for ballpark, renegotiated TV contract

MIAMI -- Don Mattingly provides the Marlins with a high-profile manager. But as an organization, Miami isn't expected to rank among the high-spending teams when it comes to players' salaries, though that could change over the next few seasons.

Marlins president David Samson on Monday confirmed the club is striving to secure a naming-rights deal for Marlins Park, as well as a renegotiated local television contract with Fox Sports Florida. The existing TV contract expires in 2020, but there is a chance a revised deal could be in place by 2017.

"We are spending time trying to raise revenue," Samson said. "We are trying to do a naming-rights deal, which we will hopefully have by the beginning of next season. Certainly by '17.

"We are trying to do a TV deal that we've been working on for years and will continue to work on. We're trying to sell more tickets. Our season tickets are up. Our corporate sponsorships are up. So we're hoping that revenues are increasing."

The Marlins have yet to set a 2016 payroll, but it is expected to be in the $80 million range.

"We need to get better pitching," Samson said. "So we need to figure out how to do it. We have to do it in a way that we lose as little money as possible."

The hiring of Mattingly as manager offers the organization a new direction.

Formerly the manager of the Dodgers, Mattingly will be going from an organization that annually ranks at the top of Major League Baseball to one of the lowest in player salaries.

According to the Cot's Baseball Contracts web site, the Marlins' Opening Day 25-man roster was a combined $69,031,500. The Dodgers, meanwhile, were at $271,608,629.

"For me, the finances don't have anything to do with it," Mattingly said. "I kind of look at those as separate issues. Obviously, if you have a different-style payroll, you're going to do things differently. The way you do business could be different. I think every organization really wants to build. If you talk with anyone, you always want to build within the Minor League system.

"You want your young guys. You want the guys who are coming to the big leagues be the guys you have grown. So when they get to the big leagues, they know what you want."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
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