The Marlins are Ridiculous... Or Are They? Baseball Econ 101
How do we know if a team's payroll is too high or too low?
AFAIK, teams do not share their financial information with the public. None are publicly held, which would require disclosure. Not only do they not have to disclose the information, they do not have to be honest with what they do disclose.
What we might need to know is how does the payroll affect these...
1. The long-term value of the franchise? News flash... Most of the money made in baseball is made when the franchise is sold. Calvin Griffith cried about losing money most years then retired to his ranch when he sold his burden to poor Carl Pohlad for $44 Million. Poor Carl's $44 Million investment was worth $510 Million the last time Forbes estimated it (which comes to 9.14% annualized for 28 years. The Yankees went from $8.8 Million when Steinbrenner bought them in '73 to $1.85 Billion in 2012, 14.7% annualized for 39 years!).
2. The franchise's short-term profit? Short-term profit might keep investors from having to hire younger, less-expensive yacht staff (which need to be trained) and might help long-term value (see above). Lack of short-term profit does not necessarily kill reason #1 (see above about Calvin).
3. Winning. This is important in so far as it helps the reasons stated above. But winning is not the only path to success. Just look at the Cubs (sold for $21M in 1981 and for $845M in 2009 or 14.1% annualized for 28 years).
As fans we want our teams to win. Ownership just might have a slightly different take on it.