D'Backs Enter '13 Season With Ten-Year High In Payroll; Nats Top $100M
The D’Backs “spent time at Saturday’s FanFest at Chase Field asking fans to have a little faith,” according to Nick Piecoro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. D’Backs GM Kevin Towers told a group of season-ticket holders during a Q&A session, “I think you’re going to like these players. All I ask is to give them a chance.” Managing Partner Ken Kendrick said that the team “will be going into the season with a payroll north of" $90M for the first time since '02. Piecoro noted the D'Backs appear to have a payroll of "approximately" $92M (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/10). Kendrick said, "We’re going to continue to invest as the revenues grow. Our M.O. is we want to invest every dollar that comes in back into the team and not in the owners’ pockets.” Kendrick, when asked if he anticipates the team ranking in the top half of MLB in payroll, said, “You can’t avoid knowing the Dodgers have spent a lot of money. But I don’t really know the rankings and whose payroll will be what.” He added, “As we go forward, we’re all sensitive to the fact that we have a new national TV contract and the monies from it are substantial for each club. That begins in 2014. We don’t have that money now, but our view for some of our key players is that we can invest in multiple-year deals now in advance of the wave of money where all clubs will begin to perhaps spend more, be it on free agents or signing their own players” (AZCENTRAL.com, 2/9).
NATIONAL REVIEW: In DC, James Wagner reported for the “first time" in the Nationals' history, the team's payroll will be "higher than" $100M and among the top 10 in MLB. Nationals Owner Mark Lerner said, “It was a combination of factors this year. We have young people obviously that were extended and those payroll numbers have gone up. We have a team that we think is on the brink of something special and we wanted to add a few more parts. I think it’s just a moment in time.” Meanwhile, Lerner said that the team's dispute with the Orioles over MASN TV rights fees is “in baseball’s hands.” He added, “We’re hoping that the Commissioner and baseball make a decision soon. It’s really out of our hands now. And hopefully he’ll make the right decisions.” Lerner said of reports connecting Nationals P Gio Gonzalez to a South Florida clinic that provided PEDs to players, “I think anytime you hear something like that out of the blue you’re blindsided" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/8).