Sternberg has no choice, really. All of the numbers are moving against him. His players making the league minimum are becoming eligible for arbitration; his players formerly eligible only for arbitration are now also eligible to file for free agency. Like any good young team, his team is getting older, and more expensive. But the Rays’ revenues are not keeping up with their expenses. Attendance at Rays’ home games is static at best. The Rays’ TV ratings are up, but there’s no evidence that these ratings will improve the Rays’ bottom line. In short, Sternberg cannot afford a $72 million payroll, let alone the greater payroll that would be required to keep the current team together.
But it’s a shame, a damn shame. It shouldn’t be this way.
How will the Rays trim $22 million from their payroll? Consider that a number of Rays’ players are scheduled for pay increases in 2011. Ben Zobrist is due a $4 million increase. … Click here to read the rest