CEO says Padres will increase payroll to at least $50 million in 2012

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Padres chief executive officer Jeff Moorad said yesterday that the team’s payroll will rise to at least $50 million in 2012, adding that “our long-term goal is to operate at $70 million.”

That would be a big raise over this season’s $45 million payroll, but even $70 million would rank just 20th among all MLB teams this season and figures to rank even lower by the time the Padres actually reach that figure.

Much of that increase will come from the team’s new television contract, which goes into effect next season, but Moorad explained that the Padres don’t plan to be significant players in the free agent market because “we’re going to run an efficient business on and off the field.”

All of which makes it seem pretty unlikely that they’d commit to Heath Bell on a long-term contract unless the impending free agent gave them a sizable hometown discount after making $7.5 million this year.

Tim Beckham to miss six to seven weeks after undergoing core muscle surgery

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Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports that Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham underwent core muscle surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday and is expected to miss the next six to seven weeks.

Beckham, 28, was originally diagnosed with a strained left groin. He sustained the injury during spring training and reaggravated it on Monday against the Indians.

Beckham was off to a slow start, batting .179/.247/.262 in 93 plate appearances. Danny Valencia and Jace Peterson should handle the hot corner while Beckham is out.