SBD/November 20, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: D-Backs Looking To Build Influence In Asia

D-Backs execs have made trips to Japan and Mexico to raise the team's profile
In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro writes the D-Backs believe they are "taking steps toward raising their global profile in ways that will pay off down the road." It is why the team is "willing to give up two home dates in exchange for opening the 2014 season in Australia." It is why GM Kevin Towers, President & CEO Derrick Hall and special assistant Luis Gonzalez "made a trip to Japan during the 2012 season and why the front office is regularly visiting Mexico." The D-Backs have "a solid history of finding and developing players out of Latin America," but they have had "less success in Asia." Still, the club believes its brand "has grown in Asia over the past decade, thanks in part" to the work of D-Backs Dir of Pacific Rim Operations Mack Hayashi (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/20).

LOOSENING THE BELT: In Newark, Jorge Castillo notes Mets GM Sandy Alderson yesterday "wouldn’t offer a specific number," but emphasized team’s payroll will be higher than $87M, "which is the figure the club identifies as the 2013 payroll." Alderson said, "I don’t think our payroll is going to be below what we saw last year." BaseballReference.com data shows that the Mets have approximately $58.5M committed for '14, "including estimates for arbitration-eligible players." Though the Mets have not made "any significant moves yet, Alderson reiterated the club is more aggressive now than in the recent past" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/20).

MOVIN' ON UP: Giants President & CEO Larry Baer said of an expected payroll increase from about $136M, "It's a jump. Our history tends to be we don't take very wild swings up or down. So it's up, it's a jump. ... The plan is for it to go up; it's gone up really every year in recent memory. Can't remember when it went down" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 11/19).
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