SBD/November 1, 2012/Franchises

Nationals' Payroll Could Eclipse $100M For First Time In Franchise History

Nationals' payroll could be impacted by Harper (l), Strasburg in coming years
The Nationals this offseason "will almost certainly reach new boundaries with their payroll," according to Adam Kilgore of the WASHINGTON POST. The Nats "already have roughly" $87M committed to their '13 payroll, and "some way or another, the Nationals seem likely to push past" a $100M payroll this winter for the first time. The team's payroll in '12 was approximately $92.5M, "by far their highest" since the team moved to DC. The Nats have "several players under contract" who are due more in '13 than they made in '12. However, that "should not necessarily be constricting." The team "will receive increased revenue from MASN whenever their protracted, bitter standoff with [Orioles Owner] Peter Angelos is finally settled." The Nats' attendance rose by about 400,000 fans from '11 to '12, and they can "expect another large jump next season." The team "could have one of the 10 highest payrolls in baseball this year, but that would be in line with the state of the franchise and the market in which it exists." The Nats need "to be careful long-term, because core players" such as SS Ian Desmond, Ps Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg, and CF Bryce Harper "will become eligible for free agency in the coming years." They "already have" RF Jayson Werth and 3B Ryan Zimmerman signed to long-term, $100M deals, and "no team has bottomless pockets" (, 10/31).
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