Ichiro Suzuki and Yoenis Cespedes are the early stars of this young 2012 season, with the rest of the league waiting until next week to catch up to the Mariners and Athletics. Here's some news from around the majors…
- Matt Cain reiterated to reporters (including Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle) that Opening Day is the "cutoff" for contract talks between him and the Giants. Cain said Giants GM Brian Sabean feels the same way. Larry Baer, the team's CEO, discussed the Cain negotiations and more in a live chat with fans earlier today.
- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is in no hurry to sign a multiyear contract, he tells Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. "There’s a long time for that coming,” Hosmer said of a possible contract extension. “For me, I haven’t even experienced an opening day yet….I feel like it wouldn’t even be fair to this team to start thinking about that.” Last January, MLBTR's Mike Axisa featured Hosmer as an extension candidate.
- Sports business consultant Marc Ganis tells ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that if the Dodgers are worth $2.15 billion, it greatly raises the ceiling for the prices of baseball's big-market teams. Ganis estimates the Yankees would be worth $4 billion, the Red Sox $2.5 billion and the Mets roughly $1.5 billion. Only the biggest markets would have higher price tags, however, since they offer the most lucrative local broadcasting deals.
- Also from Henry Schulman (Twitter links), Gregor Blanco says he chose the Giants over the Marlins in the offseason since San Francisco hitting coach Hensley Meulens promised Blanco a legitimate chance at a roster spot. It looks like Blanco made the right choice, as he's poised to start the season in the majors after a big Spring Training.
- Alexi Amarista's impressive camp has made him a candidate for a utility job with the Angels, but Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times says Amarista is too inexperienced at the big league level to make Maicer Izturis expendable. Izturis' name has been connected to a few trade rumors this spring as several teams are in the market for infielders.
- Cesar Izturis (Maicer's older brother) has been told he will make the Brewers' roster, says team media director Mike Vassallo (Twitter link). Izturis' minor league deal with Milwaukee allowed him to ask for his release if he wasn't on the 40-man roster by March 30, but now his $875K salary for 2012 is guaranteed.
- MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (via Twitter) predicts the Indians to make a "big roster reduction" on Saturday as the team starts to pare down its roster from its current 41-player state. Bastian says the Tribe has been "looking at trades" as well, and indeed Cleveland has at least one notable deal reportedly in the works.
- If the Angels cut Jason Isringhausen, the veteran reliever tells MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez that he'll probably retire, though there's a slight chance he'll keep pitching if he gets the right offer. "It depends on who's that team that might call, who they'd be," Isringhausen said.
Those team values are absurd and unsubstantiated. The Dodgers deal is an outlier in that they owned the stadium & all the land around it. They also have a multi-billion dollar TV deal pending with Fox, and are in the second biggest market.
Rumor has it that they ended up paying over $600 Million more than Cohen’s group. the Astros just sold for $680 Million (not counting the discount), and I find it hard to believe that the Dodgers are really worth $1.5 BILLION more than that.
I’d bet that team values range from around $400 Million (for the Rays or Athletics maybe) to $2 Billion (Yankees). Forbes places the Dodgers value at $1.4 Billion (Oakland a’s at $321 Million), and Maury Brown suggests that these numbers are fairly reliable when valuing clubs.
I think you overvalue the land aspect of the deal, first and foremost. The real reason the Dodgers were an outlier when compared to previous MLB team sales is that McCourt was able to hold the sale under the protection of a bankruptcy judge. The development of the pool of buyers and the “bidding” process were able to proceed with hardly any interference from the Commissioner’s office and the community of MLB owners.
With that said, you are correct that they are an outlier. What you don’t consider is that irrelevant of the circumstances, this is a still a market-setting transaction. Other teams looking to make a massive sale are bound to make adjustments to create similar circumstances. For instance, (and although I don’t know the economics of team-owned broadcast networks), the Yankees do not have to offer their broadcasting rights to the YES network. Another factor that far outweighs land ownership is the franchise itself, the history and the fan base, the merchandising, the international reach of the brand. When you consider those factors, the degree to which the Yankees and the Red Sox, for instance, were valued above the Dodgers by Forbes, is much easier to understand. It creates a situation where at least certain teams can hold out until qualified buyers who can pass the political process of MLB ownership approval are willing to increase their ante perhaps far beyond what the Guggenheim group paid for the Dodgers.
It’s certainly very complicated. Personally I think that the future value of the land surrounding the stadium has immense value (and that’s why McCourt wanted to have partial rights). All this talk of high-end retail or NFL stadiums shows just how valuable it *could* be.
That said, there’s a lot of things impacting valuation. For example, should Peter Angelos sell the Orioles (not suggesting he is, just an example) the value would be hurt because the team does not own OPACY. However, Angelos would likely include his controlling interest in MASN, making the Orioles a more intriguing purchase. Since the two are separate entities however, there’s nothing suggesting that Angelos would have to sell them both as a package deal.
I actually think this might hurt baseball. Not the new owners of the team (i think having Kasten there is terrific for LAD fans), but in that i creates a ridiculous precedent for future sales. I guess we’ll find out when/if the Padres get sold…
I agree that the land is IMMENSELY valuable. My point is that it is already factored into the Forbes valuation.
Ah ok. Got it.
Good for Blanco having a legit shot at making the Giants’ major league roster. Always liked him when he was with the Braves. Average might not be great and his power doesn’t even exist, but he’s posted exceptional walk rates throughout the minors and a walk rate a tad below 13% in over 800 big league plate appearances. His BABIP was like 100 points below his career average last year which is why his batting average was so God-awful. If it goes back up to around .330 like it was during his two good seasons in the majors (and most of his minor league seasons), he can actually be a good lead-off type hitter.
Nice to finally see some legitimate speed on the Giants as well.
elscorcho the marlin
yea, i agree. it makes sense that he would not even try with the marlins, who are stacked in the of right now.
Well, at least Mets fans have one thing going for them.
Reports are that Hamels is either very close to re-signing with the Phillies or may actually have worked out a new contract with them already and both are just waiting to announce it.
If that is indeed the case that can only be good news for Matt Cain. Instead of being the 2nd best FA pitcher at the end of the season he jumps to the head of the class and probably gets himself a few more dollars in the process.
With his deadline being opening day for a deal with the Giants it’s getting close to crunch time.
Chances are they are waiting like the Red Sox did last year with Adrian Gonzalez so it doesn’t penalize them for this years salary.
They don’t have to wait with the NEW CBA. The rule has been changed. Hamels 2012 salary is locked and loaded and won’t change.