Postseason Success Won’t Affect Rays’ 2011 Payroll

Stuart Sternberg, the Rays' principal owner, announced before the season began that the team's payroll may end up below $60MM in 2011. Seven months later, nothing has changed. Sternberg tells Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times that even if the Rays make a deep run in the postseason, the club's payroll will be significantly reduced next season.

"No question. Nothing can change that,'' Sternberg said. "Unfortunately there's nothing that can happen between now and April that can change that unless Joe Maddon hits the lottery and wants to donate it, or I hit the lottery."

If the Rays were to play in two or three playoff series, the handful of extra home games would earn the team some additional revenue. According to Sternberg though, the Rays still "can't come close" to turning a profit for 2010. With key contributors like Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, and Carlos Pena facing free agency, Tampa Bay's roster will likely look very different by Opening Day 2011.


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70 Comments on "Postseason Success Won’t Affect Rays’ 2011 Payroll"


Yanks48
4 years 11 months ago

why lower payroll? For what reason

4 years 11 months ago

They are losing a ton of money. The don’t have the income like NY does.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

But they do have the prospects, which is something that other lower market teams do not have. They will lose Crawford, Pena, and Soriano, but add Jennings, Hellickson, and McGee. I think it would be really wise for them to trade for Yonder Alonso. Maybe tade James Sheilds Yonder Alonso.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

I’m not a big fan of Alonso. He has been hyped but he doesn’t have prototypical 1B power, bad arm, bad athleticism (Which rules out the OF for him). He should provide a good average at some point with good defense but he isn’t that exciting as a prospect. And I think we can see this by the lack of news regarding serious interest in him.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

I could be wrong, but I think he has the best doubles percentage of all the minors the last. Two seasons. I mean he is a left handed bully butler. Do you like bully butler?

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

He doesn’t even have the power of Billy Butler. He has maybe 20 HR power. He is closer to a James Loney.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

Are you kidding me? You’re saying he doesn’t have Butler or Loney power because he has 20 Home run power? Maybe you should check Butler and Loney’s stats and I know a ton about Alonso, extreme doubles hitter and will put up a high average.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

My b. I thought he hit 30 Hrs last year.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

No doubt Mike Trout. Your my boy

4 years 11 months ago

What’s Alonso’s ceiling? Is he worth Garza?

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

Probably not. He has a high ceiling but he really has chance to be an above average hitting first baseman with little power but tremendous gap power and a decent glove.

politicalrancor
4 years 11 months ago

no one goes to the trop to see games

Sniderlover
4 years 11 months ago

So pathetic how fans won’t even show up to watch a great team with a solid young pitching staff.

4 years 11 months ago

The Blue Jays fan calling the Rays fan black?

Sniderlover
4 years 11 months ago

If Jays had Tampa team, I’m sure the building would be pretty packed most of the time.

coolstorybro222
4 years 11 months ago

If it wasn’t in Canada, then it would be packed all the time.

4 years 11 months ago

The Rays can’t even pack a stadium in the USA along with several other teams, and the Rays are possibly the best team in the majors. What you said is an ignorant statement. While attendance can be related to where the sport is played, there are several cities that if they had a team as good as the Rays, would have great attendance and would sell out many games.

Sniderlover
4 years 11 months ago

Yeah pretty sure Jays were never packed back in the day when they were a winning team… stupid ignorant troll.

Toronto is what, top 5 market in baseball? But when you can’t even make the playoffs in 17 years, do you really expect the stadium to be packed?

But hey, continue with your dumb comments.

Sniderlover
4 years 11 months ago

Yeah pretty sure Jays were never packed back in the day when they were a winning team… stupid ignorant troll.

Toronto is what, top 5 market in baseball? But when you can’t even make the playoffs in 17 years, do you really expect the stadium to be packed?

But hey, continue with your dumb comments.

4 years 11 months ago

Completely agree. These fans need to hav a sense of urgency that this team is going to collapse at the end of the year, so they need to give it their all, and I’m pretty sure more fans could come and watch them play fundemental baseball. I for one, for the next few years, would pay money to watch David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, and Wade Davis all start in succession.

Slopeboy
4 years 11 months ago

I realize that the economy is bad throughout the entire nation and St. Pete is not a great metropolis, but the rays fans are just plain lousy. There is no excuse for them not coming out and supporting a winning, fun to watch and exciting team as are the Rays. Last week, with the Yankees in town, fighting for 1st place, they drew an average of 27,000 in a three game series. It’s not like ticket prices are out of this world, and there are lots of other things to do in that city.I’m one that is always skeptical when it comes to owners and their cries of poverty, but this is one case where I can understand why they would want to cut payroll. This town has what many,many cities would dearly love to have and don’t seem to give a good squat about the team. That’s just wrong!!

politicalrancor
4 years 11 months ago

to be fair, Tampa and South Florida has a lot of transplanted residents who already have established baseball fandom. Also the Trop is trash.

4 years 11 months ago

I live about 20 minutes from Tropicana Field. I’ll list the reasons no one goes:

Lots of old people who already have established teams, as you said.
The stadium is horrible for baseball. It’s a nice enough place, but it doesn’t feel like baseball.
The roads around the stadium are spaghetti.
I could go on and on and on.

4 years 11 months ago

Elaborating on the roads: It’s all highways. Last time I went, it took me an hour to get out of the parking lot after a Yankees-Rays game. There is (I think) ONE on ramp to the highway right by Tropicana Field from the main parking lot.

Slopeboy
4 years 11 months ago

I’ve been there four times so I’m familiar with and understand what you say. I didn’t find the park all that bad and I’m used to sitting in traffic, I just find it sad when the visiting team has more people rooting for them.

penpaper
4 years 11 months ago

“…or I hit the lottery.”

Hey, that’s my quote!

O971
4 years 11 months ago

Revenue sharing should incorporate something so that smaller market teams with better win-loss records are rewarded with more money than teams with poor records. I highly doubt the owners would ever agree to it but I think it force “poor small market teams” to at the least try to stay competitive instead of waiting 6 or 7 years for lightning to strike while they continue making profits off of big market teams.

politicalrancor
4 years 11 months ago

how are “poor small market teams” supposed to get any better by spending money to be competitive if they get less money? That is counter to even the most basic logic.

O971
4 years 11 months ago

By investing in their business. You don’t own a baseball team without having other ventures that make you money. The basic goal on the business side of baseball should be to build a profitable organization and baseball shouldn’t pamper to the Loria’s of the world who have no interest in building a long lasting brand, but instead prefer to take $70 M of other team’s revenues while spending only $35 M. Instead baseball should try to cater to teams that build their organization in a way that is profitable and consistently put a competitive product on the field.

4 years 11 months ago

So if I am interpreting your post correctly, the Yankees are the primary business model for baseball?

Weird how majority of non Yankee fans don’t get that… I’m an Astros fan by the way.

It’s sad to see the stands empty during Rays games.

O971
4 years 11 months ago

You don’t need to go the Yankee route. The Astros for years were competitive because of Biggio and Bagwell and I’d imagine the owners turned a fair amount of profit during the Killer Bs days. All I was suggesting was that teams that can’t turn a profit even when they been very good for a couple years should be compensated more than teams that are content to not be competitive and turn a profit because of money they receive from revenue sharing. My idea is probably deeply flawed as many others have pointed out but any idea that was typed up in one or two sentences is going to have massive holes in it. My original post was not well articulated and probably deserved to be flamed . People at least seem to agree with the fact that revenue sharing is flawed and something needs to be done so that teams like the Rays can remain competitive.I’m a braves fan, btw.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

Admittedly, the idea has SOME potential, but it would be completely useless without a hard slotting system in the draft.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

Not ever going to happen. The point of it is to help the small market teams that can struggle. A team like the Rays can go all out to win the division and get a lot of money but have to give up a lot of their players and maybe their farm isn’t as good. This means the next year they do bad as they rebuild. You can’t punish them by giving them less of the money they need. Especially since lower standings = lower attendance. It is a deadly spiral.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 11 months ago

Instead, I’d prefer some sort of salary (or payroll) floor. Teams that are net recipients of revenue sharing would have to spend a certain amount of money on their major league roster or their overall player development system or they’d forfeit the revenue. Set the floor over, say, a period of three consecutive seasons, so that teams could rebuild if they wanted to shed bad contracts.

An alternative to that would be to bar any team that plays in a tax-subsidized stadium from collecting revenue sharing. Oh, wait, that would be all of them except the Dodgers, I believe.

Wek
4 years 11 months ago

“the Rays still “can’t come close” to turning a profit for 2010″

I hope no one believes this statement that so many organizations like to cry about when asked about their payroll. No one, especially businessmen, would operate in the red. Every organization either break even or turns a profit.

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

how naive can you be? Plenty of organizations bleed out money, just yesterday it was released that the yanks have some serious debt accruing.

No teams goal is to operate in the red, but there are plenty of seasons you lose money, you hope you get competitive and you win, and make more money then you lost.

Marcos
4 years 11 months ago

You should have read the Yankee article. I’ll sum it up: Yankees TECHNICALLY have 2 BILLION dollars worth of debt. HOWEVER, they are actually making a profit, because they distribute all the payments (salary etc) they have to make to other companies, so while on paper we have 2 billion in debt. The Steinbrenners and other shareholders are making a profit.

ALL organizations are about money, and they wouldn’t operate if they didn’t make a profit. Marlins, Pirates, Royals, and Rays all make money at the end of it all.

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

Unless you have proof of profit from the pirates, royals, rays etc don’t speculate on such.. There are plenty of sports franchises that are financially strapped that lose money in every sports league, the mlb is no different.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

There was actually recently leaked documentation showing that at least a few of the lower rung teams (Particularly the Pirates, not so sure about the Rays) that were actually turning a profit as a result of revenue sharing. This was maybe a month ago, I’ll see what I can find.

Slopeboy
4 years 11 months ago

Great posting. This shows what many clubs do to hide income and then go out and cry poverty. No one begrudges the owner’s right to turn a profit, but they should run a team as a public interest and strive to compete not just turn a buck at their fans expense.

4 years 11 months ago

Wek, I agree with the majority of your statement, other than “No one, especially businessmen, would operate in the red”. That’s just not true/accurate.

Stuart Sternberg is listed as having a net worth of approximately 3.5 billion. It’s safe to assume that he is a good businessman, correct? Not all of his “honey pots” need to be in the black so long as his net is in the black, does that make sense? Sometimes the wealthy need one business to be taking a dive (Rays) to float their books for their primary business (finacial investment firm). I would be interested to see what his other primary businesses were doing and if it in fact reflected The Rays financials or if it in fact was going the opposite direction? This example is comparable to small business owners actually needing to purchase a home of X value to allow for more write-offs and keep their net below a tier.

I am sure that someone with more business familiarity than myself will offer some sort of input on this subject.

I completely agree with you about organizations crying. That’s exactly what it is: Crying.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

Look at Disney. If the Hunchback is running a deficit, you’d think Mickey Mouse would bail him out? Hell, no!

4 years 11 months ago

No, but they just might expand their Disney library for a place to dump cash… Very similiar to MLB expansion… Did that ever cross your mind? A place to have write-offs for the entire league? Baseball, though you would like to believe it’s a “sport”, is a business, ran and voted on by billionaires, think about that.

4 years 11 months ago

Also, read my statement again: Not all his “honey pots” need to be in the black, so long as his net is in the black.

And yes, as long as there is profit sharing, Mickey Mouse=Yankees/Red Sox/etc, are bailing out the Hunchback=Rays.

While you may not want to see it this way, this is an opinion, nothing for you to defend your beloved pervert Walt Disney with exclamation points over.

0bsessions
4 years 11 months ago

My obscure 90’s sitcom reference is lost on the short-tempered. Le sigh.

Tell me SOMEBODY got it.

DJ_2
4 years 11 months ago

With the Rays’ window apparently closing before our eyes, do you think they will go with the complete overhaul (trade anyone they can get a good deal on not named Longoria, Price, Jennings or Hellickson) or do they simply try to use their minor league depth to reload and attempt to stay with the Yanks and Sox?

Personally, I am leaning toward the latter for them, but both options are viable and justifiable. What do you guys think???

start_wearing_purple
4 years 11 months ago

Frankly I don’t see any closing window for the Rays any time soon. They’re quite possibly the most well run team in the majors. They got the deal of century in Longoria, still a top 3 farm, and can afford to lose players. The Rays aren’t leaving from being a contending team any time soon.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

They are going to leave being a contending team as long as they are in the AL East. 85 wins isn’t going to cut it there.

4 years 11 months ago

Who the hell said they are going to win 85 games, your crystal ball?

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

I’m sorry I thought thinking that the loss of a top OFer in Crawford, their top power threat in pena, and the top closer this season would translate to less wins next year.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

The problem with relying on those guys is that most players take a couple of years upon entering the majors to be really affective. When you keep having to replace all stars with rookies (no matter how good) they are still rookies and a step back is to be expected. With Hellickson you have the best chance of a seamless transition no question but his ceiling is limited in the AL East and there are concerns over his long term arm health. Mcgee is a good power pitcher who should fit in well in the bullpen but his walk rates in the minors haven’t been good and could be exposed by patient teams like New York and Boston. And Jennings has potential but I expect a barely modest year from him. He has had trouble with inside pitches but most minor league pitchers can’t hit their spots consistently. The will be exposed in the majors and I expect his power to develop in a few years. So while it is good to replace players right away you can’t expect them to realistically stay in serious contention with 2 90+ win teams in their division. Not when you give up the top closer this season, one of the top OFers, and their biggest power threat out of their lineup. They aren’t going to be a 60 win team again but 80-85 sounds right to me.

moonraker45
4 years 11 months ago

i agree. I have been preaching for so long that tampa needs to step up, trade some prospects and get a big bat to start tearing apart the league. If they don’t get those finishing touches, they will continue to be the underdog, because the yanks, and red sox will always be adding in the offseason.

4 years 11 months ago

JH’s ceiling isn’t limited because his division. Not only so called power pitches succeed in your sacred division. I also don’t think Pena is going anywhere. Other players can step up next year besides rookies. The Rays aren’t going to have to rely on rookies only to replace players next year. I see them being more than a .500 team, especially if their pitching is still good.

But not shocking this is coming from a Sawx fan.

jwredsox
4 years 11 months ago

JH’s ceiling is limited in a sense. His ceiling is a Roy Oswalt type pitcher, a guy with a career 3.20 ERA in the NL. Adjust that to the AL and you see how it is more limited. He never had the upside of an ace but a 2 on a bad team and 3 on a good team. And that isn’t just me saying that I’ve read scouting reports that say the same.

wickedkevin
4 years 11 months ago

Tampa needs to move to a city with new faces. Not faces of Red Sox and Yankee fans who are now old and retired.

bucco_nation
4 years 11 months ago

What a shame.

4 years 11 months ago

MLB should have a rule that if a city doesn’t draw more than a certain number of fans per year in relation to their total win loss record that team has the right to move no questions asked.

4 years 11 months ago

It’s not a problem with the MLB it’s a problem with the city. These teams sign contracts with the city. If they decide to move early they could possibly get sued for breach of contract. The MLB doesn’t have more power than a state government.

4 years 11 months ago

i wasn’t implying that the problem is with MLB i was simply stating that their should be an exit clause for owners of organizations who’s fan base is unappreciative and as lackluster as the tampa bay region.

4 years 11 months ago

Well then there wouldn’t be nearly as many cities that would be willing to take a team since they would know that if attendance isn’t that good then they will most likely lose the team. Cities won’t want to take the chance on a possibility of a team leaving whenever it wants after a season is over.

4 years 11 months ago

The problem is location I live in NJ so i cant support my favorite team by going to there games.There still gonna have talent after crawford pena soriano though replacing soriano is gonna be tough not so much crawford or pena.if garza can land them a bat for the future why not he has more value now than shields.they do have alot of guys in the farm plus a few they signed out of cuba who are supposed to be decent from what i read.I am not gonna be biased and know both boston and new york will add this offseason tampa needs to be patient and find a way to increase revenue cuz there rotation can be so good same with toronto both have a nice young rotation once nyy and boston gets older who knows with the labor agreement ending soon what will happen certainly some things are gonna be talked about.one last thing if a team signs a free agent and there the lower 15 they still should lose there 1st round pick if the higher 15 get penalized its like nba and nfl rewarding teams with high draft picks for losing the most games

raffish
4 years 11 months ago

As soon as Tampa can move they should. Like so many have lamented in this thread, it’s a disgrace to baseball fans, (especially Mariner, Royal, Pirate fans, and the like), who love their team even when they suck.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 11 months ago

Oh yeah that makes a ton of sense. pardon me for not understanding that.

4 years 11 months ago

This went right over my head. Why is Soriano referred to as such? He’s not even one of the violent, loud closers. He’s one of those calm and collected ones.

4 years 11 months ago

I really have no idea, had to google it myself.

4 years 11 months ago

It was created by a Braves blogger by the name of RHR. Atlanta fans love it, so it just went on… by Rays fans too. It’s not him that is violent, it’s his pitches.

4 years 11 months ago

I agree except for that last part. Though the Trop isn’t such a great place to watch baseball. I think more fans will watch the Rays when they get their new outdoor ballpark.

inkstainedscribe
4 years 11 months ago

It had to do with his demeanor on the mound and has no relationship with how he actually behaved. Dude’s pretty fearsome looking, after all.

4 years 11 months ago

I’d still rather face him in a dark alley than Kyle Farnsworth.