SBD/Issue 88/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Giants Likely To Surpass $100M In Payroll

Lincecum's Contract Could Put
Giants' Payroll Over $100M Mark
In S.F., Ray Ratto notes the Giants are about to become a "nine-figure baseball team, and that's a whole lot more than they said they had a month ago." With Ps Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson filing for arbitration, the Giants are "about to sail well past their stated budget of the low $90[M] level. And unless [GM] Brian Sabean is signing players with his own money, the Giants are actually ready to break the $100[M] mark for the first time." The Giants are "suddenly either spending money they don't have, spending money they do have, or are hoping to have with a sudden burst of public interest." Ratto: "No matter what the answer, this is their version of going for it" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/20).

SEEING RED? D'Backs officials said that the team's one-year, $4.5M deal with 1B Adam LaRoche moves the club's payroll close to $79M, "a figure that makes a finish in the red a realistic possibility." In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro notes D'Backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick "throughout the off-season" said that the team "would be willing to stretch its payroll close to $80[M] in the right situation." Kendrick said that if the team "isn't in contention this season," the franchise "likely will lose money." Kendrick: "If they don't play well, we absolutely will have a loss. But we're willing to take that risk. We're not about making money. We're about winning and trying to avoid significant losses" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/20).

INCREASED SPENDING: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi reports the Marlins yesterday committed to another $8M in salaries, putting them "on track for a payroll of at least" $45M. The team yesterday agreed to one-year deals with 3B Jorge Cantu and P Leo Nunez, which puts the team at $34.7M "in contract commitments in 2010 for just 10 players." If the team does not trade 2B Dan Uggla, who agreed to a one-year, $7.8M deal Monday, the Marlins' payroll "projects to be at least" $45M. However, Capozzi writes the "increased spending isn't a direct result of last week's agreement with the league and union over the Marlins' promise to spend revenue-sharing money on player salaries" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/20).

Mariners Reportedly About To Sign
Hernandez To Five-Year, $78M Deal
COST OF COMPETING: In Seattle, Steve Kelley writes the Mariners "can't afford not to keep [P] Felix Hernandez, so they are about to sign him to a five-year deal worth about $78 million." In signing Hernandez, "once again, the M's, under general manager Jack Zduriencik, are doing the right thing." They "aren't lowballing their budget and throwing up their hands at the millions it will take to keep the brightest, youngest gun in baseball." Kelley: "They're sending a message -- to the fans, to the other players in their clubhouse and to the rest of baseball -- that they are ready for the big time" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/20).

IN THE DARK: ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported "part of the unusual nature of the Mets' offseason has been the fact that" Mets GM Omar Minaya "has never been given a budget." As the Mets' front office has been "evaluating possible strategies, the executives haven't been able to cast these choices against the context of how much money is available." They instead are making their recommendations to COO Jeff Wilpon "on a case-by-case basis, without knowing whether" they are "yet bumping up against a financial ceiling." Olney noted Wilpon "has been the lead negotiator for the Mets this offseason, and not Omar Minaya, which has reinforced the belief in some corners of the organization that Minaya is one extended losing streak removed from being fired" (ESPN.com, 1/19).

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