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SBD/February 18, 2013/Franchises
Astros Owner Crane Expects Team To Become A Winner On, Off The Field
Published February 18, 2013
TEAM ON THE RIGHT PATH: SI's Joe Sheehan reports no player on the Astros' roster "earns more than $3 million, and the roster has a guaranteed payroll of just $14.6 million," $5M of which goes to P Wandy Rodriguez, who was traded to the Pirates last year. The team's Opening Day payroll will be "lower than any team's since the 2008 Marlins," and given the "dearth of long-term solutions on the roster ... the '14 and '15 payrolls will fall in that same range." However, "things are changing." Crane "has charged GM Jeff Luhnow with restocking the farm system, and he's allowed Luhnow to do so without making the kind of cosmetic moves ... that might appease local media, casual fans and the players' association." Sheehan notes research shows a team going from 55 to 60 wins "means little to the bottom line in the short term or long term." Sheehan: "It's just not worth paying bigger salaries to players who can only get you from terrible to slightly less terrible. Fans don't respond by buying tickets, media revenues don't improve and the chances of reaching the postseason remain remote" (SI, 2/18 issue).