The Best Bargains on Each South Florida Sports Team

The Best Bargains on Each South Florida Sports Team
photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

In honor of the holiday season, we've decided to take a look which five players in South Florida are the best bargain. Teams are like you: They aren't above fishing something out of the scratch-and-dent bin in hopes of finding something that works well at a fraction of its retail price.

Each franchise has a gem that is paying huge dividends at a minuscule price this year. You need a few steals to get under the salary cap and compete for a championship. These are the best ones on each South Florida team.

Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Landry, average salary $868,728

How do we know Jarvis Landry is a good bargain? He's breaking records for most catches through the first two seasons of a career, but Matt Moore, the backup quarterback, makes more than him. Either that's a pretty solid deal or Matt Moore is being way overpaid to hold a clipboard on the sidelines. Wait — those are both true. Anyway, Landry is the 21st-highest-paid player on the Dolphins because he was drafted in the second round last season. For once, the Dolphins are getting above value on a player's contract. It's about time. 

Miami Heat: Justise Winslow, 2016 base salary $2,593,440

Justise Winslow is a 20-year-old kid, so we're pretty sure he's just fine with being a $2.5 million "bargain" for the Miami Heat, but in an NBA where unknowns are getting $25-million-dollar contracts, the Miami Heat are far happier than he is about the arrangement. Winslow is the 11th-highest-paid player on a team that only has 15 guys on the roster. He starts and is pretty much a lock to be a huge part of the Miami Heat for years to come. If he continues to progress, pretty soon he might make $2 million every month, not every season.

For now, though, the Heat have a dollar-store steal in their starting lineup. That's the beauty of the NBA draft.

Miami Marlins: Marcel Ozuna, average salary $570,000

For a team that is notoriously cheap, Marcel Ozuna is the best bargain of the bunch. Until a few months ago it was someone else, but we don't need to mention his name — you know it. Ozuna makes a tick over half-a-million a year, the 15th-highest salary on the Marlins. Last season he hit 23 home runs and drove in 73 RBI, terrific output for someone making less than his backup, Jeff Francoeur — who the Marlins picked up late in the season for $1 million.

Ozuna is attractive on the trade market because of his cheap price and production, but it's hard to imagine the Marlins giving him up for anything less than $5 on the dollar.

Florida Panthers: Aaron Ekblad, average salary $3,775,000

The Panthers selected Ekblad with the first overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, and he has lived up to the hype. Ekblad is one of the finest defenders in the entire NHL at only 20 years old and has nowhere to go but up. Ekblad recently signed an eight-year contract worth a reported $60 million, but for now he's still coming on the cheap for the Panthers.

Hockey players don't exactly break the bank like NBA or MLB players, but under $4 million for a difference-maker that can lead you to a Stanley Cup is highway robbery.


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