Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rays, MLB Finances in the News

A day after the Rays traded James Shields and his $10.25 million salary to the Royals (in a deal that may have been more about the Rays' glut of pitching than the salary), a Marc Topkin column indicated the team may not be able to afford David Price either in the future:
Price, 27, has said repeatedly he would love to stay, and agent Bo McKinnis has said that while "it becomes increasingly difficult" at this stage of Price's career, "it's not too late."

But, McKinnis also suggested, it's going to take quite some creativity. And lots of money.

Price, McKinnis noted, is driven to be the best in everything from pitching to golf to video games to Twitter.

"So in a similar sense," McKinnis said, "he wants to have the best contract in baseball, however that may be defined. He expects to be the best in everything that he does. So hopefully we're able to make that marriage between the Rays and that best contract. But we also recognize the economics of the game may not allow that."
It isn't out of the question for the Rays to retain their franchise ace if they determined it was a wise use of money.  They're due a huge financial windfall in 2017, and according to the Biz of Baseball, every MLB team is due a huge influx of dough as early as next season:
We can probably expect player salaries to continue to balloon over the next decade as free agent deals catch up to these increaseing revenues.

So if small- and medium-market teams like the Rays were smart, they'd re-sign all their stars now to longterm deals (a la Evan Longoria) to take advantage of 2013 prices, because the big-market spenders could turn the free agent wars upside down again by 2016.

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