Sternberg: Payroll will drop in 2011
The Rays are clearly making a serious effort this season to get back to the playoffs, pushing their payroll past $70-million with the addition of Rafael Soriano and hanging on (for now anyway) to potential free agents such as Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. And principal owner Stuart Sternberg made it even more clear during a 620-AM radio interview Monday night that it will be different in coming years, with a significant reduction in payroll.
“We did out-spend ourselves last year (at $63-million) and completely have out-spent ourselves this year,’’ Sternberg told Andy Freed and Dave Wills. “And unfortunately we’re going to feel the effect of that the next couple years for certain. … There’s no $60-million payroll next year either, let alone a $70-million payroll. It’s going to be a tough transition, but it’s something that given the economics of the game and specifically the economics of what we are in Tampa Bay and in St. Petersburg, it makes it impossible to do it for more than a couple of years.’’
Then again, Sternberg also said they didn't plan to spend as much this year but, having traded Scott Kazmir and Akinori Iwamura (after deciding they wouldn't pick up his option), they were in position to make the unexpected additon of Soriano.
And of the current squad, Sternberg said: “It clearly is a season we feel not just from a money standpoint, but with a lot of guys peaking as far as their careers are concerned … We just don’t see any other way with this team right now to even try to even make it better, quite frankly.’’