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Rays Payroll Unlikely To Increase

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times says the Rays payroll, which increased by 40% this offseason, is unlikely to do so again next year. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says the increase was thanks to saved money from previous years and earned last year. Topkin says Sternberg believes the Rays will have trouble sustaining their $60MM payroll for next year.

"With more than $35 million committed for next season, another $15 million in options for Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura and at least a half-dozen players arbitration eligible, including B.J. Upton, the Rays could be facing some tough 2010 decisions."

An interesting note from Topkin is that the Rays ALCS Game 5 loss to the Red Sox wound up being their "best worst loss ever." Topkin says the increased revenue from playing Games 6 and 7 at Tropicana Field allowed the Rays to go out and sign Joe Nelson, Brian Shouse, and Pat Burrell, and push their payroll past $60MM for the second time in franchise history. That pours some salt on the wounds of Red Sox fans.

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