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2013-14 MLB Hot Stove thread

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Starman, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Might as well start this here:


    Weird move by Wedge. He hadn't exactly burned up the league in Seattle, after not exactly burning up the league in Cleveland. I am not sure teams are going to be busting down his door with managing job offers.

    I am sure Wedge probably would have loved a long-term extension, but hey -- the team hadn't really done squat since he took over.

    Assuming the story is fairly legit and the M's really were willing to bring him back in 2014, I think if I were him I would have said, "There are only 30 MLB managing jobs and for the moment I have one of them. All I really have to do probably to get re-upped next year is go .500; if I take a job with some other bottom-feeder I might not sniff .500 for five years (although I'll get shitcanned after two)."

    Of course, if he comes back next year and comes out of the gate 12-27 he gets whacked, but at least he cashes the extra year of salary.
  2. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    Do the Dodgers give Cano 10 years? If the Yankees don't and the Mets can't, and the Red Sox don't need to, who will give JayZ the credibility he needs as the front man for an agency?
    The Cubs?
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Giants re-sign Hunter Pence for five years, $90 million.

    Seems like an overpay, but someone who can provide power and handle right field in that park is a big deal.
  4. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Not a chance. They are tied up in the complicated debt-fueled ownership agreement and trying to renovate Wrigley Field.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Ah yes. The poor threadbare revenue-poor Chicago Cubs.

  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The team doesn't have the money.

    The Ricketts family has the money. The Cubs were sold under a special agreement that saves the Tribune a bajillion in capital gains taxes and the prevents Ricketts' family from putting their own money into the team.

    They do have a decent amount of revenue, but it's a lot less than it was a few years ago, and they are paying for renovations to Wrigley Field this offseason.
  7. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Really? What is that condition? I am not doubting it, I am just curious.
  8. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The sale conditions?

    It's complicated, but basically, the Ricketts family formed a family trust and the trust borrowed the money from their father's fortune in order to buy 95% of the team from the Tribune with the agreement that only the interest on the debt could be paid for the next 10 years, not the principle. The family trust setup precludes the team from deficit spending in any given fiscal year.

    IANAaccountant, but somehow the combination of those things saved Sam Zell a bunch of money in taxes, and protects Daddy Ricketts from risking any money on the deal (it was the kids' idea to buy the team, not his).

    The downside for those of us who aren't rich team owners is that the team itself is financially hampered by not being able to deficit spend *and* having to eat the interest payments each year. Combine that with lowered attendance every year because of the team is awful and the money that is being spent to begin renovations on Wrigley Field, and that's why payroll is down $50m from its peak a few years ago. I mean, they aren't the Astros or anything, but going from $145m to $95m is pretty steep.

    It won't start to go back up until the renovations are done, a new TV deal is in place, or the team actually gets good and attendance goes back up.
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Ah. Sam Zell being evil again.

    So the family isn't legally allowed to just throw more money into the trust? That's a huge deal. Makes me wonder why there was so much talk of Pujols or Fielder heading there. It's almost like sportswriters all went with the same erroneous assumption.
  10. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Yes, the sales agreement precludes them from throwing their money into the trust, because if they did it would lose the tax benefits for Zell. And because the patriarch doesn't want to.

    This all happened in 2009, when the team was coming off two straight division titles and in the middle of an 83-78 year. Tom Ricketts (son/team president/the kid who spearheaded the family's attempts to buy the team) had the following plan:

    1) Keep being at least not-terrible so the team still draws 3 million a year
    2) Convince the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois to fund a large expansion of Wrigley Field, including a jumbotron and significantly increased signage, and use that increased revenue to help offset the debt payments.

    Unfortunately for him (and also because he's kind of inept at this local politics stuff), the city flat-out laughed in his face when he tried to get them to pay for the expansion. Four years later, he's been bargained down from asking for $300m to buying the city $20m worth of stuff just for the permission to renovate and use the signage (that he was counting on the extra revenue from) to pay for the renovations. And it *still* hasn't gotten started yet because they are worried the rooftops might sue if their view is blocked and can't get an agreement with them in place.

    In the meantime, the team fell apart in the last days of Jim Hendry, and then Theo Epstein came in and began to fulfill his lifelong dream of building a team from the ground up using the farm system (some of that lost payroll, though not even a majority, has been diverted to other areas like draft pick signings, international free agent prospect signings, and a new team facility in the Dominican Republic), so the team is even worse now and attendance keeps dropping. The team is in a bit of a death spiral.
  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    It's unlikely they will get anything major done this off season:

  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Don't make me say it!
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