So Liberty reported the Braves had an operating loss last year because of Derek Lowe. Appropriate.
In addition to what Tim Tucker reported from Liberty’s 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission filing, there were a couple other interesting nuggets. First, I’m pretty sure that in past reports, Liberty has disclosed far less detail about the Braves’ finances. I looked at three previous annual reports, and the company was not nearly as forthcoming about the Bravos. Maybe someone knows if there is some new disclosure requirement, or another reason why Liberty would report more specifics on the Atlanta National League Baseball Club Inc., as the actual entity that owns the Braves is named. Or would it be in Liberty’s interest to make it clear the Braves lost money on some kind of operating basis?
Second, we all know the Braves don’t have a lot of money committed to long-term contracts in the next couple seasons. But Liberty’s filing spells out exactly how much. And it ain’t much: , $20 million in 2013, $13 million in 2014, $13 million in 2015. Uggla is the only guy signed beyond this season. The club holds options on McCann, Chipper and Huddy, all of which will probably be exercised. As of now, Uggla is the only player under contract beyond 2013.
Obviously a lot of younger players will get raises. But that should still leave Wren some room to make moves. For one, it would appear he could make a serious run at signing Bourn if he chooses to do so. He could also preemptively lock up guys like Heyward, Freeman and Hanson, if it looks like a good idea.
Finally, one more note from Liberty’s securities filing. It includes this statement: “Similarly the success of the Atlanta National League Baseball Club depends on the record of the Atlanta Braves Major League baseball team during each season, which is directly impacted by their ability to employ and retain top performing players, coaches and managers.” Let’s hope Liberty truly wants “success” for our Bravos.