SBD/December 5, 2011/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Tom Ricketts Comes Out In Support Of Crane Kenney

Ricketts said Cubs are working on contract extension for Kenney
ESPN CHICAGO's Bruce Levine reported Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts "came out in strong support of his president of business operations Crane Kenney on Saturday, to the point that he said the team is working on a contract extension for the at times maligned executive." Ricketts said of Kenney Saturday on ESPN Radio 1000 Chicago, "He's considered one of the best presidents in baseball. Since we started working together, I've been consistently impressed with his ability to handle all the issues of the team, and still keep his eyes on the horizon of what we can do to get better." In addition to "leading the Cubs' efforts to refurbish Wrigley Field, Kenney has been the team's front man on putting in a new spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., as well as working with other front-office staff to build and develop a complex in the Dominican Republic" (, 12/3).

BUILDING THE FARM: In Dallas, Evan Grant notes heading into this week's winter meetings, Rangers front office execs will "try to get a better handle on how deeply new rules in the collective bargaining agreement with players will impact their international and amateur scouting program." After using a "haul of draft picks in 2007 to accelerate a rebuilding process that continually has slid them lower and lower in the draft pecking order, the Rangers have turned increasingly to international scouting to supplement their talent pool." Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he thinks the new rules "might impact a team’s ability to accelerate the building process" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/5).

TAX EVASION: In N.Y., Joel Sherman noted the Yankees have said that they "are driven to have a payroll of $189 million or less in 2014 when that becomes the luxury tax threshold" because the "incentives that come via the new CBA are just too great for them to ignore." Under the new agreement, if the Yankees "are at $189 million or less for the three seasons from 2014-16, they not only avoid paying one cent in luxury tax, which would rise to 50 percent for them as repeat offenders, but they also would get roughly $40 million in savings via the to-be-implemented market disqualification revenue sharing program." Even if they "just went under $189 million for 2014 before going over again in 2015," they would get "about $10 million in the revenue sharing disqualification program" (N.Y. POST, 12/4).
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