Royals' Record Payroll Could Grow Even Larger As GM Moore Pushes For Playoff Berth
The Royals are just a half-game out of first place in the AL Central, and as the team pushes for its first playoff berth since '85, GM Dayton Moore is "confident the team’s ownership would allow him to expand the club’s record-setting payroll at next month’s trading deadline," according to Andy McCullough of the K.C. STAR. The team's payroll this year is "believed to exceed" $92M, and Moore before the season "indicated the team had exceeded its allotted budget and referred to the figure as a 'gamble.'" The total "trumped the previous record," set in '13, by more than $10M. Yet Moore "insisted he does not expect to be financially handcuffed before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline." He said, "We're not in the business of losing money. And it's not my job to do anything to hurt this franchise long-term. But [Royals Chair & Owner David Glass] has always been very supportive." Moore added, "There's a directive from Mr. Glass to make sure we’re doing everything we can each day to find ways to improve our team. So that's what we'll continue to strive to do" (K.C. STAR, 6/17).
EVERYONE'S A CONTENDER: In Seattle, Geoff Baker reports MLB adding a second wild-card team in '12 has allowed team owners to "spend the next several months giving off the impression their team will be one of those eventually keeping late-season races tight," a move that can be "real good for business. Just about every team can "claim they are contending a little longer without even fibbing." The Mariners enter play today just 1 1/2 games out of the second AL wild-card spot, and the team is "averaging 23,842 spectators at Safeco Field versus 20,834 at this point last season." Meanwhile, crowds "aren’t always a complete indicator of fan interest." The Royals missed the postseason last year, but "that second wild card kept them in contention." Their crowds "barely grew," but their TV numbers "jumped by the highest in baseball, 71 percent" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/17).