MLB Franchise Notes: Tigers' Conservative Offseason Spending Continues
In Detroit, Tony Paul wrote signing P Joba Chamberlain was the "latest cost-conservative move for the typically free-spending Tigers, who mostly passed on the bigger names this offseason and signed second-tier guys." Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski "once again reiterated the team isn’t cutting payroll -- and he's right." The Tigers started '13 around $150M, among the highest in the game, and "will be slightly over that" for '14. But the Tigers "clearly are choosing not to spend all" of the $25M the team will receive in additional TV revenue. Given that the Tigers have "reportedly lost money almost every year Mike Ilitch has owned the team, it's certainly their prerogative if they want to keep some of the new cash" (DETROIT NEWS, 12/14).
ROYAL TREATMENT: In K.C., Sam Mellinger wrote Royals Owner David Glass is "operating the way a solid, standard, relatively small-money owner should operate in a baseball world." Glass "sent a subtle but important message" when he extended GM Dayton Moore's contact for just two years, and "he's sending another one now" with a four-year, $30M contract for 2B Omar Infante. The signing gives the team a "bump in payroll that should put the Royals" above $90M for the first time (K.C. STAR, 12/14).
OH, BROTHER: In Philadelphia, Matt Gelb wrote under the header, "Amaro Has Phils Stuck Between Rebuilding And Contending." The Phillies "will not spend their way" out of an aging roster, because it is "irresponsible spending that landed them here." Gone are the days of "fretting about the luxury tax," as the team will "spend well below" the $189M luxury tax threshold. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "is right" in his belief that the Phillies "should be able to win with a payroll" of $165-170M. Gelb: "Just not with a team constructed like his" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/15).
KING OF QUEENS? In Newark, Barry Federovitch wrote the Mets gained "credibility, a trait sorely lacking in recent years" by signing CF Curtis Granderson and P Bartolo Colon. If it is "fair to criticize GM Sandy Alderson when he does nothing, you have to give him the lion's share of credit when he actually puts the team in the discussion for a National League wild-card berth, which is what he may have done." Still, the Mets are "only that, in the discussion, on the fringe of respectability, and it is from here that Alderson and the Mets will determine if that credibility is transitory or built upon" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/15).