Minnesota has filled the final spot in its rotation with Jason Marquis, signing the veteran right-hander to a one-year deal worth $3 million.
By replacing Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel with Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit the Twins saved a ton of money for 2012 and beyond, but they also sliced their payroll from $115 million to a projected $100 million.
That and dumping Kevin Slowey on the Rockies left them shopping in the bargain bin for rotation help and Marquis is more or less what you get for $3 million, although it’s worth noting that Slowey will make just $2.7 million in Colorado.
Marquis can’t really be called an innings-eater because he’s missed so much time with injuries over the past few seasons, but he’s had an ERA between 4.00 and 4.60 in four of the past five years and fits the Twins’ pitch-to-contact mold as a ground-ball guy with meager strikeout rates.
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.