Boston's Payroll Inching Upwards

[image title=”153036_brewers_cardinals_baseball” size=”full” id=”15410″ align=”center” alt=”Julio Lugo scores for the Cardinals while being paid by the destitute Red Sox” linkto=”full” ]
NoMaas did a post this morning about Boston’s “little engine that could” attitude and their 2010 payroll, which is slated to be about 170 million dollars. When I first saw that number, I thought that it was mistaken, and that it was simply the luxury tax number, which is based upon average annual value rather than actual salaries. However, Mike Axisa of RAB pointed me towards a Cot’s Contracts spreadsheet that puts Boston at about 166 million before pre-arb contracts are set, meaning they should finish at about 170M. They will almost certainly be paying the luxury tax, and will be forced to consider that when making moves during the season.

With the Yankees coming in at 212M at this point, that makes for a fairly sizable gap of 46 million dollars. However, the Red Sox have closed on the Yankees significantly this offseason, as the 2009 difference was 85 million (207 vs.… Click here to read the rest

Salaries and the Economy

Many writers have bemoaned the ridiculous salaries garnered by athletes in a time when people are struggling to survive financially. When the Yankees threw money at a number of free agents in December, people rolled their eyes and wondered if athletes were sensitive to the economic problems at all. It is a point that I always found to be a bit silly, as it suggests that baseball as a business should cease because the fans are struggling, an assertion which would limit the free market and actually further hurt the economy. ESPN’s Jim Caple recently made an interesting point on this topic:

Look at it this way. It’s not like player salaries are going to go to Habitat for Humanity otherwise. If the money doesn’t wind up in the pockets of multimillionaire athletes, it will wind up in the Swiss bank accounts of multibillionaire owners, and of those two, I know which one I prefer with the money. Nor do high salaries correspond with higher ticket prices.

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Bud Selig Can Afford Two Smoltz's And A Burrell

From Maury Brown:

Commissioner Bud Selig earned over $18 million for the fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2007, making him by far the highest paid commissioner in all of sports, according to a report by the SportsBusiness Journal…According to Fisher of the SBJ, “Entering 2009, only seven MLB players will earn more this year than Selig’s $18.35 million of two years ago.”

I guess that we should not be surprised, as Selig is the CEO and czar of a multi billion dollar industry. However, that salary seems particularly obscene considering that Selig does not seem to possess any form of valuable and rare skill such that he is close to irreplaceable.

Bud has done a good job in increasing the excitement surrounding the regular season by instituting interleague play and the wild card. However, his reign has been somewhat of a mixed bag, what with the steroid scandal and the allowing of the TV networks to basically set the postseason schedule.… Click here to read the rest