SBD/January 22, 2013/Franchises

Brewers' Payroll For Upcoming Season Will Be Reduced For First Time Under Attanasio

Brewers' payroll reached a record high last season after growing annually since '05
The Brewers' payroll for the '13 season is "coming down for the first time" under Owner Mark Attanasio, and "by a significant amount," according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. As it "stands now, the Brewers are projected to open the season with a payroll of just under" $80M, a decrease of more than 20% from a year ago. Multiple factors came "into play in reaching that reduced payroll level, including the desire of Attanasio and general manager Doug Melvin to maintain financial flexibility for future personnel moves." Before Attanasio's group "bought the club, the Brewers were coming off a 2004 season in which budgetary cuts slashed payroll" to $27.6M. Since that season, the Brewers have "boosted their payroll annually." Those increases "finally pushed the Brewers' payroll to a record level at the start of the 2012 season." It is even "more important for teams in smaller markets such as Milwaukee to develop starting pitchers because the Brewers will never be able to match payrolls with the likes of the Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees, Tigers or Angels." And Attanasio, a "money manager and investor by profession, is not a believer in spending money just for show." He said, "A few seasons ago we learned that it is a mistake to set an off-season payroll number and then to spend the money simply because it was budgeted." Internally, the Brewers "have their 2013 payroll budgeted at" about $85M. Where it goes from "there remains to be seen." Attanasio's "modus operandi has been to reinvest money in the club in all areas, including personnel and improvements at Miller Park" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/22). 

IN THE CARDS: In St. Louis, Derrick Goold notes MLB Cardinals ownership "acknowledges keeping its core together will be costly" and in the coming years "expects the payroll to rise accordingly." Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said, "I do think our payroll will go up in the next couple years. I do. To maintain the club that we have and do what we think we need to do there is a good chance." The Cardinals had a payroll "near $115 million last season and expect about the same for this season with the increase." DeWitt left open the "possibility that the increase in payroll might be necessary to address a need from outside the organization" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/22). 
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