MLB Franchise Notes: Tigers' Dombrowski Insists Payroll Won't Be Cut
In Detroit, Tony Paul notes the Tigers with the "two mammoth trades" of 1B Prince Fielder and P Doug Fister have "managed to bid farewell" to more than $12M in payroll commitments. But Tigers President & GM Dave Dombrowski yesterday insisted they "are not slashing their budget." He said, "You still have to work a combination of payroll and putting your club together. And you do those within reason. We’re not cutting payroll whatsoever." The Tigers operated at around $150M for much of '13 (DETROIT NEWS, 12/3). Also in Detroit, Drew Sharp writes yesterday's deal sending Fister to the Nationals "wasn't a salary dump," but more of a "salary redistribution." While the Tigers appear "likely to maintain one of the top-five payrolls," the team's "willingness to extend the budget like a biggest-revenue franchise probably won't last much longer" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/3).
A BIRD IN THE HAND? In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck wrote of the Orioles trading P Jim Johnson to the A's yesterday, "When the Oakland A's are the team taking your salary dump, what does that say about the commitment of Orioles ownership to continue building a strong AL East contender?" The Orioles so far have "restocked their 40-man roster with a group of unknown soldiers after a season in which they made big gains in attendance and broadcast ratings." It would "seem like a logical time to use some of that additional revenue to add a couple of free agents, but -- so far -- it looks like the front office is under orders to hold down the payroll" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/3).
A BRONX TALE: YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan wrote if free agent 2B Robinson Cano wants a contract exceeding $200M, he is "not going to be wearing pinstripes next season." Sources said that the Yankees are "adamant their stance in negotiations" with Cano is "not pure posturing." The Yankees are "taking a hard line" and it represents a "fundamental shift in their willingness to lavish players with ultra-long-term deals." Whether a team outside of N.Y. is "prepared to offer as much might be the biggest question of all, because at the very least it would force the Yankees to reconsider their offer" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/2).