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Volume 27 No. 5
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MLB Franchise Notes: D-Backs Walk Fine Line On Free Agent Spending

D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall said that despite the club's spending power exceeding $30M this offseason, he "doesn't expect the club to dedicate a large portion to one player in free agency." In Phoenix, Nick Piecaro notes the D-backs have "made a series of moves over the past five months to create the payroll space they have," and as it stands, the club's roster "projects to cost" around $92M. Hall said he expects next year's payroll to be "right where it's been," which is around $125M. That leaves about $33M to spend (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 12/6).

TIME TO PAY UP? In Philadelphia, Matt Breen writes the Phillies for the second straight offseason "showed their willingness" to spend on Wednesday by signing free agent P Zack Wheeler to a deal north of $100M. But the Phillies -- "despite having a billionaire owner who wants to win -- might be nearing their limits." The Phillies have "never paid baseball's competitive-balance tax, but they might be unable to avoid it this offseason if they want to field a postseason contender." However, if the Phillies "limit their spending, it's hard to imagine them being able to do enough this offseason to enter next season with a team expected to pass" the Braves or Nationals (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/6).

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? A TAMPA BAY TIMES editorial states as "unlikely as the Montreal plan's success might have been, it seems premature" for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman to "pull the plug without a more public airing of the possible options." It also was "wrong-headed for the Rays to reject the mayor's offer to look again throughout the Tampa Bay region for a new permanent home." The editorial: "So now, what next?" Keeping the Rays will "carry a price," but "losing them would have a price, too." It is "time for an honest discussion about what price is worth paying" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 12/6).