We need a name for this thing. The Bud Protectorate? Something Oliver Cromwell-ish seems to fit. I’ll think about it.
Anyway, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has been told that his payroll will be unaffected while MLB runs the Dodgers and that things will be business as usual. Which makes sense given that there are set commitments and sunk costs and stuff.
The real question will be what happens if the Dodgers contend and there is a competitive argument for increasing payroll in some way sometime this summer. Major League Baseball allowed the Rangers to take on Cliff Lee last year, but at least then there was a new owner in the Greenberg/Ryan group waiting to step in and pay those expanded costs back to MLB. It could still be a while for someone new to come on the scene in L.A.
In any event, Gurnick reports that Colletti has been contacted by two other GMs who have been through this before — Omar Minaya and Jon Daniels — who have given him encouragement and advice. Note to Ned: listen more to Jon on this one. Trust me.
Earlier this year Disney agreed to purchase the majority stake in BAMTech, the digital media company spun off from MLB Advanced Media. We know it as the source of the technology for MLB.tv and MLB.com, but it’s far more wide-ranging than that now. At present it powers streaming for MLB, HBO, NHL, WWE, and, eventually, will power Disney’s and ESPN’s upcoming streaming services.
The company was started by an investment from baseball’s 30 owners, so they’re getting a big payout as a result of the acquisition. Earlier this morning Jim Bowden dropped this regarding how much of that payout is in the offing in the short term:
That’s probably on the low end, actually. Some people I’ve spoken to who are familiar with the acquisition say the figure is more like $68 million in Q1 of 2018.
Good for the owners! It was a savvy, forward-thinking investment that, in the past, baseball owners might not have made. Bud Selig, Bob Bowman and others deserve credit for convincing the Jeff Lorias and Jerry Reinsdorfs of the world to think big and long term. It’s money out of the sky, raining down upon the owner of your baseball team for, basically, doing nothing.
Money which should be remembered when your buddy complains about a relief pitcher getting $6 million for only pitching 65 innings. Money which should be remembered when your team’s GM says that he has to cut back on payroll in the coming year.