SBD/Issue 98/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Phillies Sign 1B Ryan Howard To $54M Deal

Ryan Howard's New Three-Year, $54M Deal 
Increases Phillies' '09 Payroll To Over $130M
In Philadelphia, Kevin Roberts writes, "In an uncertain economy, the Phillies are spending with a lot of confidence." 1B Ryan Howard's new three-year, $54M deal yesterday "pushed the Phillies' 2009 payroll over" $130M, up "$30[M] from where it began last season." That is the "biggest off-season increase" in MLB in a year where "more than half of the teams in the majors are projected to cut payroll or hold expenditures steady." Phillies GM Ruben Amaro: "We're fortunate to be in this position. ... We're taking on a risk, here. But they are calculated risks." Amaro said that "everyone in sports is worried about the economy." Amaro: "Hopefully, the economy straightens out for people so there's a little less risk" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/9).

FOLLOW THE LEADER: New Padres Owner Jeff Moorad said his agreement with the team is "designed to allow [former Padres Owner John Moores] to continue to be involved for the next several years, and I look forward to that." Moorad: "I'm certainly not one to close the door prematurely, so I think we've created a method by which there can be an orderly transition of ownership, and I'm excited to be a part of that." More Moorad: "To be able to come to San Diego and be part of what I think is a challenge on the front end, but certainly a very, very special opportunity to join the Padres and to help them and assist them and assist the people that are there in the organization make the kind of strides that need to be made to make the organization great again, is an opportunity that I really felt I couldn't pass up" (XX Sports Radio, 2/6).

RED WITH ENVY? In DC, Thom Loverro wrote of the Nationals new marketing slogan, "Get Your Red On," "Did the Nationals steal red from the Washington Capitals, whose marketing campaign is 'Rock the Red' this season? The Nationals say they were in the red before the Capitals, pointing out that the Lerner family conducted a red-themed promotion when it took over the franchise" in '06. Nationals VP/Communications Chartese Burnett: "Now I'm not going to say that anyone stole it from us. You know, you look around and you see sports teams that have had similar themes, but I don't think it's fair to say we got anything from the Capitals. And as good ideas go, it's OK to steal. But I don't want it to go unsaid that we had a very good rallying around 'Get Out Your Red' when the Lerners took over" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/7).

FRESH FISH: The Marlins "sold more than 40,000 individual-game tickets Saturday -- the most at a Fanfest since" Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria bought the team in '02 (MIAMI HERALD, 2/8).

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