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Miami Marlins

Heyman | Jeter’s hiring and firing decisions annoy Loria

Miami Marlins owner Derek Jeter talks to reporters during a news conference, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Miami. Jeter says he will help develop a winning culture with the Marlins that will emphasize hard work, discipline and no excuses. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

When former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria handed over his seat to new owner Derek Jeter, he made some recommendations among the current staff, and for better or worse, Jeter has done mostly the opposite.

Loria, according to sources, suggested that Jeter keep high-ranking baseball people Mike Berger, Jeff McAvoy, Marc Delpiano and Jim Benedict, and that he let go longtime scouting director Stan Meek. Jeter has already fired the four Loria suggested he keep, and word is that Jeter is likely keeping Meek, who would have been let go by Loria.

It’s obviously all Jeter’s call, and he has no obligation to follow the advice of Loria (and some would say a fresh start is better, anyway). But, for what it’s worth, some people around the team believe that Loria is confounded by the moves.

Meek’s record includes some grand slams (Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto) but also some misses (some say the Marlins’ system depth is at the lower end in the game – though many trades have contributed to this).

Loria, who’s in England and couldn’t be reached for comment, is said to be particularly upset about how recent drafts have gone. The Marlins’ last three first rounders – pitchers Tyler Kolek, Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers – had injuries and didn’t throw a single pitch in a game this year (and word is that this year’s top pick, Rogers, was homesick, which is more common than one might think, contributing to his season) – though it’s hard to say who else may have influenced these picks, and bad luck has been the main factor in their performances thus far.

Jeter is obviously relying on other people to aid him in his front office choice, not the fellow he bought the team from.

In any case, word is that the four executives who were fired made salaries “like low-paid GMs,” meaning somewhere in the $500K to $800K range, and since the four have contracts that run through 2020, the Marlins are on the hook for something between $6.5M and $9M. A past report suggested Loria would have to pay those salaries, but sources insist it is actually Jeter and his group that has to foot the rather expensive bill for the four fired execs, as one might expect, and Loria’s being upset has nothing to do with finances, just his hope Jeter would keep his guys.

Delpiano and Benedict have very good reps around the game, and it’s expected all four should be able to get jobs rather easily since their salaries are already being paid for three more years.

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