MLB financial affairs have been generating a lot of news lately.
— Ostensibly, Jeff Loria (lounging among empty seats in the photo) lost money on the $1.2B sale of the Marlins. Or so says his lawyer, according to the Miami Herald. The agreement by which the city and county funded most of the cost of the Marlins’ ballpark gave the local governments the right to 5% of the profits from any sale of the team. But Loria claims that he lost $141M on the sale, so there will be no payment, or at least not short of litigation.
— Tom Glavine, who was the front man for a group that unsuccessfully tried to buy the Marlins, said in an interview recently that his group also would have slashed the team’s payroll if they’d made the purchase. He said his group could have handled the PR aspects better, “but in terms of business moves, I don’t know we would have done a whole lot different.” As I’ve said before, anybody who thinks a new Pirates’ owner will start blowing zillions of dollars on free agents is living in dreamland.
— Player agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports got a lot of attention for himself with a pompous press release threatening a player walkout in spring training. No doubt a lot of players are upset at some of the payroll-slashing around the game. The Pirates appear to be amateurs in the cost-cutting department. As Jeff Passan has detailed, four teams -- the Phillies, Dodgers, Orioles and Rangers — are on pace to cut over $40M. Another four -- the Royals, Yankees, Marlins and White Sox — are headed toward cutting over $30M. In many cases, although not all, it’s not hard to see perfectly sensible reasons for the lower payrolls. I remain baffled, though, that nobody ever points to the skyrocketing franchise values, and the accompanying need to leverage franchise purchases, as a factor in the decreasing percentage of MLB revenue being spent on payroll.
— Finally, one baseball item: The Mets supposedly prefer Todd Frazier or Eduardo Nunez to fill their need for an infielder.
Latest on #Mets, per sources: Nunez, Frazier currently leading infield choices. Team leery of getting used by Frazier if he prefers #Yankees,— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 3, 2018
reluctant to bring back Walker, getting no traction on #Pirates’ Harrison. Also interested in adding SP - Cobb or Lynn - if prices fall.
If Josh Harrison is going to be traded, I expect it’ll happen after Frazier, Nunez and possibly Walker find homes. The Pirates aren’t going to get anybody like Brandon Nimmo for him until that happens, if even then.