THE 1997 FLORIDA MARLINS
What can $89 million in free agents buy? A World Series champion. Wayne “Blockbuster” Huizenga spent and spent and spent in the 1996 offseason, and with the newly-acquired Alex Fernandez, Moises Alou and Bobby Bonilla, Florida compiled a 92-70 record, good enough for a wild card berth. Then they beat the Giants in the first round of the playoffs, topped the Braves for the NL flag, and took the Indians in seven games to win the World Series. Huizinga’s free-spending ways bought a title, but the team lost $30 million, and the owner decided a fire sale would be fun. Exit Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Moises Alou, Robb Nen, Dennis Cook, and others and in 1998 the Marlins dropped to 54-108, 52 games out of first place.