D-backs Exec VP & GM Mike Hazen said that he "didn’t envision many financial impediments if the club chose to bring the team back intact" next season. In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro notes that is not including RF J.D. Martinez, an impending free agent who "figures to command big dollars on the open market." The D-backs have "four players on guaranteed contracts heading into next season," and another 14 players who will be "eligible for salary arbitration." There could be "non-tender candidates in that group," but even without them, the team's payroll "would be north" of $110M. This year's payroll was a little more than $105M, so going into the $120M range "would be a sizable increase" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/11).
WHAT'S GOING ON? In DC, Thom Loverro writes Laurene Powell Jobs' investment into Monumental Sports & Entertainment "raises a lot of questions about the health" and future of the company. Loverro: "Why this infusion of money in Monumental now?" MS&E recently signed a reported 10-year, $100M arena naming-rights deal with Capital One, and MS&E Chair Ted Leonsis made a deal that "gave him ownership of one-third" of NBC Sports Washington. Those two steps "should have put a healthy chunk of money into Monumental." Meanwhile, Jobs' investment "puts her next in line to own" MS&E (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/11).
LAKERS BACK ON TOP: NBCSPORTS.com's Kurt Helin noted there is a "genuine belief that things are about to turn around" for the Lakers, and that has made them the NBA's "hottest ticket." The Lakers are the "top ticket selling NBA team on StubHub this season," as sales are up nearly 130% from last season. Second on that list are the Knicks and third are the Celtics, having jumped 48% from last season. The "hottest single-game ticket" this season is Warriors-Lakers on Dec. 18 -- Kobe Bryant’s jersey retirement game -- where the "average ticket price is $660" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/10).