Blue Jays Payroll in 2008 & Beyond Part 3
Continuation of Blue Jays Payroll in 2008 & Beyond Part 2
The ultimate question is this; Will Jays ownership be content with a .500 level, non-playoff style team at a profit of $10 million? If this is the case year after year, will non baseball revenue (TV, subscriptions) continue to rise
Personally I feel that Rogers has no problem increasing the payroll incrementally (on a percentage basis) with any new inflows from revenue sharing. The tricky part of this will be in keeping the payroll in check with revenue sharing guidelines.
The Jays may find their business & on-field goals to be in-line or at odds, depending on how things are approached. Three options readily exist.
The first would be taking a real plunge into the free agent/contract market. This is obviously increase the payroll. This type of go for broke strategy can pay financial dividends if the Jays do make the playoffs but revenue gains will most likely not counter-act the added expenses. This may even leave the Jays with a short term loss, depending on how far up the payroll scale they go (which will take a bit into the gains from revenue sharing).
The second option is one that no Jays fan would want to see, which is going back to the mid-2000’s model, complete with a lower level payroll. The goal here would be maximum profitability through increased revenue sharing. These gains could come at the expense of on-field success.
What does that leave us with? Well, it’s pretty obvious that the Red Sox & Yankees are going to continue their respective spending habits. The Jays will most likely be kept in the range of the 10th – 15th highest payrolls. With only 8 playoff spots available in baseball the Jays will have to rely on the current day philosophy of “loading”.
Loading is as simple as it sounds. A team needs to set all of its resources, whether it be financial or personnel towards a short term run at the playoffs. JP’s mentor over in Oakland, Billy Beane, appears to setting this up right now with the trade of Danny Haren. The players received in that deal will be able to play at the MLB level in a year or so and the A’s should be in line to make a run in three years and beyond.
The Jays appear to be caught in a gap. They have been adding free agents at a steady pace over the past three seasons, yet the existing core was suspect at best. Currently, the core of Rios, McGowan, Hill, & Lind are starting to come together. Yet the free agent grouping (along with the likes of Halladay & Overbay) are heading towards the back end of the accepting “baseball prime”. With 2008 looking like another near playoff miss, its of my opinion that the Jays decide to either A) trade away some younger developing talent for proven commodities with a goal of a 2009 playoff appearance or B) make the tough decision and trade away the Ryan’s, Halladay’s of the world to gain strong upcoming talent for a 2010/2011 playoff drive.
C) which is the status quo, will not help the Jays on the field or in the bank.