So far this offseason, the Miami Marlins have been gutting their roster in an effort to get the team's debt under control. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon have all been traded away in cost-cutting moves, and it's possible others like Christian Yelich and Martin Prado will be moved before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.

The Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter led ownership group completed their purchase of the Marlins a few weeks ago and they've maintained that cutting costs now is crucial to building a sustainable contender later. That's believable, sure. Then again, part of their long-term plan -- "Project Wolverine," as it has been named -- includes an expected increase in attendance revenue this coming season, and I'm not sure how that's going to happen.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is currently in the middle of a five-part dissection of Project Wolverine, and in part three, Jackson explains that Jeter has a financial incentive to make the Marlins profitable. He'll be paid seven-figure bonuses if the club turns a profit. From Jackson:

According to an August version of Project Wolverine - a document pitching potential investors on joining the Marlins ownership group and shared with the Miami Herald by sources - Jeter will make an annual bonus based on the Marlins being profitable.

That bonus would pay him $2 million in 2018, $1.7 million in 2019, $1.1 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021 and $2 million in 2022. The Marlins declined to say if the amount of those bonus payments were altered in subsequent versions of Wolverine.

Despite their financial problems, it is very likely the Marlins will turn a profit in 2018. The Stanton, Ozuna, and Gordon trades have cleared about $45 million off the team's payroll for the upcoming season, putting them around $95 million for the year. Also, all 30 teams will receive a $50 million payout as part of MLB's sale of BAMTech, the league's digital arm, to Disney. The cost cutting combined with the $50 million payout will likely put the Marlins in the black in 2018.

As things stand, Jeter invested $25 million in the Marlins and will be paid $5 million per year from 2018-22, meaning he will make his money back in short order. Add in the bonuses and Jeter will personally turn a profit on this venture fairly quickly. It is entirely possible the Marlins will pay Jeter $7 million this coming season ($5 million plus $2 million bonus) which, coincidentally enough, equals Yelich's salary for 2018. 

Hey, being an MLB owner is good work if you can get it. The system is set up to more or less guarantee you're going to make money. In this case, the more salary the Marlins unload, the more Jeter will be paid. The optics are pretty bad, if nothing else. Jeter is not the general manager, but he could push for a Yelich (and Prado and Brad Ziegler, etc.) trade to ensure those profitability bonuses kick in.