Sternberg: "Money won't be an object" for in-season additions
Rays prinicipal owner Stuart Sternberg just said "money won't be an object" in making in-season additions to bolster the team's bid to make the playoffs.
Sternberg didn't quite fully open the team checkbook, saying money would "be an impediment" and that the cost of any moves now would still have to weighed against future cost, but he was open to improving the team.
"We're well beyond stretched (payroll-wise), but for me, personally, this is a very special year, it's a special team, can be a special team, and we're going to do whatever we can, whatever's necessary, to try to give us the best opportunity to win this year,'' he said.
While the news seems groundbreaking, Sternberg said it was merely an extenstion of the committment they made during the off-season "to completely obliterate our budget" to do what they can to win as they raised their payroll to a franchise-high $72-million after the unexpected high-priced acquistion of closer Rafael Soriano.
"Our eye is really about making the post-season,'' Sternberg said about 90 minutes before Tuesday's game.
Asked if the Rays could make a "significant" addition, Sternberg replied: "By any means necessary. We'll do whatever -- money won't be an object. Players are always an object for us. And the money will be an impediment, but we'll figure it out if it makes all the sense in the world for this team.''
Sternberg and executive vice president Andrew Friedman have talked extensively about the situation and Sternberg said: "We're all very competitive and want to give ourselves the best chance to play as deep as we can this year. But, and it's a big but, it costs a lot of money to do that, as it has, and we have resources with players that we have to be cognizant of not to just .... what it means to our future.''
Clarifying further on the money quote, Sternberg said, "it's an impediment, it's certainly a large impediment. And (Andrew) reminds me of what it means for the future because basically what it is is you're borrowing from the future on your chances this year and possibly recouping some of it. But that's not a business plan to say we're going to play five- and seven-game series right through the end of the World Series, it's not something you can count on.''
Sternberg also lauded the play of Carl Crawford and while he said it "remains to be seen" if the Rays could afford to keep him after this season when he is eligible for free agency, Sternberg acknowledged it will be "difficult.''
Sternberg had a scar on his nose and a light beard, the result of a scary July 4 incident involving his propane gas grill. He considered, but did not receive, emergency medical treatment.