Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Wrinkle In The Marlins Pursuit Of Jose Reyes

In an article filed to Yahoo Sports by MLB Columnist, Jeff Passan, it appears that the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a federal investigation into the transactions leading up to the allocation of funds for the Miami Marlins new baseball stadium. Here is the meat and potatoes portion of the article:

The Security and Exchange Commission on Thursday launched guided warheads at the Marlins, requesting the team’s financial records, communications with MLB officials including commissioner Bud Selig, minutes of meetings with local government leaders and political campaign-contribution information, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

While the subpoenas issued by the SEC do not explicitly detail the purpose of the investigation, the feds’ motives are evident: They want to understand how, exactly, a group of county commissioners agreed to fund 80 percent of the Marlins new stadium, which cost more than $600 million, without ever seeing the team’s financial records – and whether bribes had anything to do with it. ~Yahoo Sports~

While the investigation is clearly in its infancy, this is the type of thing that can not only derail the Marlins plans for the immediate future, but also impact the way teams do business in the future. As Passan points out in his article, people have long gotten sore over the use of taxpayer funds to pay for new stadiums.

It will interesting to see what, if any, impact all of this has on the Marlins' off-season plans. With the team expected to ramp up their pursuit of Jose Reyes during the winter meetings, there is now a hint of financial insecurity in Miami. Granted, this should make Jose Reyes feel right at home, but the fact that there may soon be a criminal investigation taking place in Miami could make Jose hesitant to accept a deal there. One thing is certain, this can't possibly hurt the Mets' changes of retaining the speedster.

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