By the 2024 season, the Padres are projected to join the list of teams who pay into Major League Baseball’s revenue-sharing fund, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The list of revenue-sharing payors is mostly comprised by teams in large markets, and though San Diego is only 26th of 30 teams in terms of market size, the Padres’ huge payroll increase over the last few seasons is likely to change their status, based on projected revenues for the 2023 season. Exact details of the Padres’ spending isn’t known, but the increase in spending has correlating with an increase in sponsorship money and ticket sales at Petco Park.
The huge payrolls aren’t likely to last forever, as Padres CEO Erik Greupner said that “to get to that optimal state in our market, it is going to require a greater contribution coming from our farm system,” so the front office doesn’t have to keep building talent with high-priced acquisitions. But that said, Gruepner noted that “The ultimate validation involves winning a World Series championship. So (increasing revenue to this level) is validation insofar as the investment in the team and the investment in the ballpark and the ballpark experience is yielding increased revenue….We’re in the process of making hay while the sun is out to get the very most out of the team that we’re going to have on the field this year and the excitement around it.”
More from around the NL West…
- Ezequiel Tovar is the Rockies’ top prospect and one of the top minor leaguers in the sport, ranked 17th by Baseball America and 25th by MLB Pipeline in their most recent top-100 rankings. The 21-year-old made his MLB debut last season and is certainly Colorado’s shortstop of the future, but that future could begin as soon as Opening Day if Tovar establishes himself as a regular. “I feel all of that but I don’t want to call it pressure, I want to look at it as an opportunity,” Tovar said via translator to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. “I know (Spring Training) is a small window, so I have to compete, I have to earn that position. I want to do it the same way I did it in the minor leagues. Enjoy the process and be fearless and compete. I want to have fun.” Tovar was promoted to the majors last year despite only five games of Triple-A experience, so it is possible the Rockies might opt to give the youngster a bit more minor league seasoning at the start of the season while Brendan Rodgers remains at shortstop. However, Tovar is big league-ready at least from a defensive standpoint, as both BA and Pipeline give him a 70-grade in fielding.
- The Giants entered the offseason looking to upgrade its defense after a poor showing in 2022, yet as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, not many of the club’s winter moves have provided clear paths to better glovework. In a sense, there could be some addition by subtraction, as Joc Pederson will now get more time at DH and less time on the grass since Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger were acquired for corner outfield duty. As manager Gabe Kapler simply put it, “I think we’re going to have outfielders playing the outfield. Last year, we had some guys, just because we needed to get some offense in the lineup, playing out there when it wasn’t ideal.” Both Kapler and Brandon Crawford also believe Crawford can regain his old defensive form at shortstop with a more healthy season, and defensive standout Roberto Perez will be competing for at least a backup catching role after signing a minor league deal. As Kapler told Slusser and other reporters last week, the Giants are having an open competition at the catcher position, as former Joey Bart seemingly no longer has a claim on the starting role after struggling in 2022.