Why pay MLB ticket prices to see Marlins when they are no better than a Double-A team?

The Marlins will once again be on the bottom of the payroll charts as Miami wastes the winter and refuses to spend money on free agents. Fans will stay home in this economy as the Marlins do not offer a product that is worth the price of a decent ticket.

Jake Burger of the Miami Marlins. Burger was acquired last season and is one player that I would pay to see, but not at Major League Baseball ticket prices.
Jake Burger of the Miami Marlins. Burger was acquired last season and is one player that I would pay to see, but not at Major League Baseball ticket prices. / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

As I look at the Miami Marlins' 40-man roster, I begin to question how many of these players would be in the major leagues if not for expansion in the 1990s. I take it one step further and wonder if other teams would really like to have any of the players that the Marlins have as they prepare for a run to a division title at the end of the season.

I do not see many players that they could trade for anything of any value, sans former Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara, infielder Jake Burger or outfielder Jazz Chisholm, Jr. That is pathetic, as the Marlins continue to masquerade as an MLB team. In reality, they are no better than a Double-A minor league team and draw crowds comparable to the minor leagues.

This season, the Marlins, who will be playing without slugger Jorge Soler, who left via free agency to the San Francisco Giants, will not be an exciting team to watch. Alcantara will also miss the 2024 season due to Tommy John surgery that he had late last season, which was below average at best for the 2022 Cy Young Award winner.

"“Obviously, it's a big void to fill when you lose a Cy Young winner, and he's just such a leader in the clubhouse,” said left-hander Jesús Luzardo, who threw a bullpen to new catcher Christian Bethancourt on Thursday. “But he's around, and obviously he is there giving us his input, his advice all the time. So it's nice to still have him around. But ... I think guys are going to need to pick up a lot of innings."

Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo

The Marlins will turn to career reliever A.J. Puk, who is competing with journeyman Ryan Weathers for the fifth spot in the pitching rotation. One of the two will be joined by Luzardo, Braxton Garrett and Eury Perez, who were featured in the Wild Card playoff round last season against Philadelphia.

These are not guys that I would get excited to see or blow a significant portion of a day's pay to watch. It just doesn't make any sense.

Fans will once again pretend that it is a COVID season and avoid the ballpark at all costs. A decent ticket costs on an average of $30.00 a seat. A family of four will spend over $200.00 a game for tickets, food and a program. It's not inflation that is killing the Marlins. It is the fact that they do not put a decent product on the diamond. Why pay major league prices for minor league performances?

It only makes sense if you are paying to see the other team perform. Aside from that, try Minor League Baseball for sports entertainment.

In today's economy, the South Florida baseball fan is better off traveling 45 miles north to West Palm Beach to watch the Cardinals' Single-A team play. You can have more fun, watch entertaining baseball and get a reserved box seat for $10.00. Everything is cheaper, from parking, which is usually free or a couple of bucks at worst, to the food, which costs noticeably less money.

Neyfy Castillo
Neyfy Castillo of the Amarillo Sod Poodles in the Texas League where the Sod Poodles won the Texas League Championship. Minor League Baseball can be more entertaining than watching certain MLB teams, like the Miami Marlins. / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

If you don't want a reserved box seat, you can get in cheaper and might even be able to score free tickets in the parking lot. Minor-league baseball is a lot of fun and you definitely get more bang for the buck. I would go to a Jupiter Hammerheads game, the Marlins' Single-A affiliate, before I pay to see the Marlins big league team any day of the week, unless there was a player or a team coming in that I wanted to see. That has not happened yet.

The Marlins put Double-A players on the field for $30.00 and it is a better buy and more entertaining to make the drive north to West Palm Beach.

I have always been a Minor League Baseball fan, as those players are competing for an opportunity to advance in the system and are not making a lot of money, so the fans aren't asked to subsidize their salaries. Kids can get autographs, as the seats are closer to the field and they can meet the stars of tomorrow.

Unfortunately for the Marlins, they are a major league baseball team featuring stars of tomorrow, a bit too early in their careers. The Marlins are fielding a minor league product at major league prices and it just does not seem like a wise investment for ticket holders and baseball fans.