Derek Jeter has 8.8 million reasons to make the Marlins profitable

Derek Jeter has some extra incentive to keep the Marlins profitable. (AP)

In a revelation that will surely fan the flames of discontent surrounding Derek Jeter’s tenure as part-owner and chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins, the Miami Herald has detailed the bonuses Jeter will earn merely for making the team profitable.

In part three of his five-part series uncovering the August installment of the Project Wolverine — which Jeter and his group used to pitch potential investors on joining the Marlins ownership group — Barry Jackson reports that Jeter could earn nearly $9 million in bonuses over five years on top of his $5 million yearly salary as CEO should the team turn a profit.

Here’s the year-by-year breakdown.

Jeter’s $5 million salary had already raised a few eyebrows. It’s not crazy money for a person in his position, but given the situation the Marlins have presented themselves to be in it does come across on the high side.

Jackson suggests the incentives revealed here will only raise more eyebrows. Especially considering how the team’s offseason has started. The first and perhaps only order of business has been to shed as much payroll as possible. That led the Marlins to trade Giancarlo Stanton, who had the biggest contract on their books, to the New York Yankees for next to nothing. The Marlins also traded Dee Gordon, who himself was under a hefty commitment, and there could be more to come.

Perhaps it’s unfair to assume those incentives have been a driving force behind Jeter’s first months in charge. Then again, it’s more than fair to point out how Jeter has clearly prioritized rebuilding over adding to a roster that seemed poised to contend.

The latter would have earned Jeter goodwill with a Marlins frustrated fanbase that’s desperate to have something or someone to believe in. Who knows, with some success, it may have bettered the Marlins chances to make a bigger profit down the line and even rebrand themselves as a franchise ready and willing to compete year in and year out. Instead, Jeter cut payroll, and along the way has reportedly alienated former Marlins employees who well respected by fans.

Jeter’s first months have been so brutal, there may be no turning back short of the team finding and then sustaining success that honestly doesn’t appear possible anytime soon. But hey, at least that 2018 bonus looks like a lock. Project Wolverine projects the Marlins will have a $23 million profit without including a large projected up-front payment from Fox on a Marlins-proposed contract extension. It also projects a profit in every year through 2021.

That’s great news for Jeter and other Marlins investors. But until that profit is put back in the team, it will be impossible make fans believe the franchise isn’t destined to continue on as its always been.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!