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08-payroll-to-go-up-many-millions | November | 2007 Articles

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'08 Payroll to go up "Many Millions"

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Braves CEO Terry McGuirk had some very exciting news for Braves fans and I am sure Frank Wren as well. After Liberty Media, the conglomerate which owns the Braves, filed a report with the SEC claiming that the Braves brought in $101 million in revenue and $34 million in "operating cash flow" in a three-month period ending on September 30th. McGuirk said the Braves will spend "many millions more" on the team's payroll next year. That is very good news, especially with Mark Teixeira set to reach free agency after 2008. The Braves had been very much in the red in 2003 under Time Warner, which led to the payroll cuts. The Braves went from a $100+ million payroll to a strict $80 million but also broke even in 2006. During the first season of ownership under Liberty Media, the Braves home attendance increased 200,000. Based on my quick calculations, the commitments for next season seem to be right around the $80 million mark with the subtractions of Renteria and Andruw Jones as well as raises for the arbitration-eligible players. A little more of that may get taken off if the Braves deem arbitration-eligible guys like Tyler Yates, Oscar Villarreal, or Willie Harris too expensive and non-tender them. There is probably about a 95% chance right now that Tom Glavine will return to the Braves, which should bring that payroll up to roughly $90 million (plus or minus a couple million). I don't think it is out of the question that the Braves payroll could rise to $105 million or maybe higher based on these comments. I'd have to assume Schuerholz knew when he dealt so much for Mark Teixeira, that the Braves payroll limitations would allow the team to at least make a competitive offer to secure the superstar first baseman's services long-term. Let's assume on the high-end, the Braves tack on $8-10 million for a long-term deal . That would still leave quite a bit for Frank Wren to play around with. McGuirk has stayed with the team's stance, that a payroll has not and will not be set, but they will be smart financially about it. Who knows? A free agent starter like Carlos Silva or Jason Jennings might still be in play to really secure the back-end of the rotation.

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