Angels’ ticket strategy intentionally neglecting poorer customers

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In a column for the Orange County Register, Pedro Moura notes that the Angels are seeing a steep decline in attendance this season, “beat” only by the Rangers and Phillies. Despite seeing about 4,300 fewer fans per game on average, the Angels’ revenue from ticket sales has increased due to higher prices.

The Angels are admittedly and intentionally catering towards richer customers while neglecting poorer would-be ticket-buyers. Angels vice president of marketing and ticket sales Robert Alvarado:

“We may not be reaching as many of the people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but those people, they may enjoy the game, but they pay less, and we’re not seeing the conversion on the per-caps,” Alvarado said. “In doing so, the ticket price that we’re offering those people, it’s not like I can segregate them, because I’m offering it up to the public, and I’m basically downselling everybody else in order to accommodate them.”

Catering to the rich might work in the short-term, but it’s not a good long-term strategy and it really doesn’t look good for P.R. purposes. The Angels have already had to clean up a P.R. mess after owner Arte Moreno and GM Jerry DiPoto criticized former outfielder Josh Hamilton publicly. They then sent Hamilton to the Rangers in a small cash transaction in late April.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.