The foolish spending continues; Braves will apparently pay Trevor Cahill, 3-12 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.608 WHIP last season, $5.5 mil this year. Add that to the $11 million Nick Markakis will receive in 2015, the first of a four-year deal, and the $27.5 million due Melvin and Uggla and you end up with $44 mil, roughly 50 percent of the team’s payroll.
The Braves could’ve signed Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada for what they’re spending on Markakis and Cahill.
The Braves and Diamondbacks had nearly identical payrolls in 2013. Arizona’s local TV contract is a little better — they receive $31 million annually for their broadcasting rights — but the Braves made up for it in attendance, drawing 5,000 more fans a game than the Snakes.
The similarities end there. According to Ken Rosenthal, the D-backs should be considered “major players” for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka.
While the D-backs did not make Choo a formal offer, they knew his price and likely would have intensified their interest if they had failed to acquire outfielder Mark Trumbo, according to major league sources.
Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, had informed teams that they only could enter the discussions by bidding in the seven-year, $140 million range, sources said. The Yankees reportedly made such an offer. The D-backs, after including ownership in their internal discussions, were open to the idea, sources said.
While Braves beat writer Mark Bowman says he’d be surprised if Freddie Freeman is signed to an extension, Arizona shrewdly locked up their young first sacker, Paul Goldschmidt, through 2019. They also signed Martin Prado to a four-year, $40 million extension after the Braves said they couldn’t afford to. That contract already looks like a bargain considering the money that’s been thrown around this offseason.
How long before the Braves are being outbid by the Rays and A’s?
According to to Liberty Media’s quarterly filing with the SEC (h/t Willie Montanez), the Braves reported revenues of $251 million for FY 2013 (through 9/30) with a operating income — the difference between operating revenues and operating expenses — of $52 million.
That’s an increase of $21 million from the same period in 2012, when the team reported revenues of $216 million and an operating income of $31 million.
And that doesn’t count the extra $25 million in national TV revenues. If the Braves spent half of their additional $46 million in profits on players their payroll would be about what Washington’s was in 2013.
Instead we’re told the payroll will probably end up at around $95 million — roughly $5 million above last year’s.
You don’t need me to tell you where the other $40 million is going.
The Braves’ payroll is likely to rise to about $100 million in 2014, up from approximately $90 million in 2013. That’s right in the middle of the pack of 30 MLB teams. All major league teams will receive about $25 million more annually beginning in 2014 from the new national TV contract.
The Braves will be spending less than half of it on players, A $100 million payroll won’t be middle of the pack for long.
We assumed the trade of Tommy Hanson meant the Braves had around $14 million to spend for LF and the bench. Not surprisingly, that number shrunk over the weekend.
According to DOB, “indications are that have a total of about $10 million or slightly more to spend on those positions.”
Oh, but Terry McGuirk tells us Liberty doesn’t set any limits on payroll. So I guess that makes T-Mac the cheap bastard.
As an aside, isn’t it about time someone asked The Worst Commissioner in the History of Sports to name one franchise that was enriched by corporate ownership? Fox and the Dodgers? Disney and the Angels? Liberty and the Braves?
You’ve probably heard about those new regional TV contracts that have allowed teams like the Rangers and Angels to spend big this offseason. That got me optimistic, since the Braves, more than most, are truly a regional team.
“Whenever old [TV] deals are up and new deals get realized, there are big jumps in value. I have predicted that, knew it was coming,” McGuirk said. “And I think we have an undervalued local rights [deal].
“That being said, we inherited a deal that was done under [previous owner Turner Broadcasting/Time Warner] a little over four years ago, before the sale, that lasts out through 25 years. So there is no opportunity for a different deal than the one we have. Every single set of games on the different networks that we are seen on [Fox Sports South, SportSouth and Peachtree TV] are all 25-year deals or thereabouts.”
McGuirk said the deals call for “cost-of-living type increases” each year, but contain no options for renegotiation.
Corporate ownership sure has been good for the Bravos, hasn’t it? Score another gutter ball for Bud.
GM Frank Wren told Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio that the Braves will increase their payroll in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they’ll pursue top free agent shortstops (allTwitterlinks). Wren indirectly ruled free agents Jimmy Rollins and Jose Reyes out by expressing a strong preference for one-year deals.
Though the Braves remain open-minded regarding possible trades, Wren explained that a free agent signing is more likely. Shortstop prospect Tyler Pastornicky is not ready for full-time MLB duty, according to Wren. Alex Gonzalez, Atlanta’s shortstop since July 2010, hits free agency with a Type B ranking (Reyes and Rollins are Type As).
Probably not in 2012, as Ken Rosenthal reports the Braves are likely to raise payroll, although I’m guessing it will be a modest (think $5 million) increase, if any.
It’ll be a slight jump compared to the Nats and Marlins, who are reportedly bidding on the likes of Pujols, Fielder, C.J. Wilson and Reyes. Signing just one of those players would bump their payrolls — $63 million and $56 million in 2011, respectively — into the Braves’ neighborhood.
That neighborhood will also likely include the Mets, looking to shed a significant amount from the $118 million it spent last season. How does you spend $118 million and end up with R.J. Dickey as your ace?
Those arbitration raises, which include an additional $3 mil for Bourn, projected to make around $7 mil next season, negate shedding the contracts of McLouth (who will be bought out for $1.25 million) and Kenshin. I’m trusting MLBTR’s math, assuming, for instance, they didn’t include McLouth’s contract against next year’s payroll.
So if the Braves are going to add an innings-eater or another bat, they’ll have to do so through a trade, subtracting players like JJ and Martin. MLBTR estimates those two will make a combined $9.5 million in 2012. And they alone won’t get you a difference-maker; that would require a prospect or two.
The $15 million owed D-Lowe continues to limit FW’s options. He has only himself to blame, of course, and fans can only hope that contract remains the current administration’s biggest mistake.
I just paid $54 for two upper box seats. The cheap seats, they used to call ’em.
Three years ago, those seats were $12 apiece. The team raised the price slightly for “premium” games in the ensuing years — $16, $18 most. Suddenly they’re $27, despite a recession. No wonder attendance is down.
Typical of the tone deaf ownership of Liberty Media. And let’s not give figurehead CEO Terry McGuirk a pass, as he must’ve hired he guy or gal who decided “Gone with the Wind” night was a good idea. Ticket prices have gone up while the stadium experience has worsened.
Now we approach another trading deadline with ownership clinging to austerity even though Liberty’s CEO, Greg Maffei, makes $87 million — three mil more than this year’s payroll. Three mil could be the difference between another first round exit and the team’s first World Series berth of the 21st Century.
You can bet it won’t be spent. Hell, Greg Maffei has probably never attended a Braves game. What does he care if they reach the Fall Classic?
That indifference marks Liberty’s tenure, though, to be fair, it could be worse.
Buster Olney sez Boston has enough payroll flexibility to afford either Crawford or Werth. If they add one of those All-Stars, Ellsbury appears the odd man out. I’m assuming Theo Epstein will try to swap him for prospects, having depleted his farm system to get Gonzalez.
It’s revealing that Boston can acquire an elite power hitter and STILL be shopping in the gourmet section while we cross our fingers hoping management splurges for mac and cheese knowing we’ll have to settle for Ramen noodles. Perhaps FW can convince them Ellsbury, or someone like him, makes the Braves legit World Series contenders, but I’m sure John Malone could care less.