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Old 04-10-2003, 09:28 AM  
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Dutton: Baird says extra revenue sharing will allow Royals to keep team intact

Baird says extra revenue sharing will allow Royals to keep team intact

By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Thu, Apr. 10, 2003

The Royals say they think the growing financial impact of baseball's new labor agreement should allow them to keep the core of their young roster intact in coming years.

"We have looked at where we expect to be, financially, over the next four years under the new collective-bargaining agreement," general manager Allard Baird said.

"I think we can make this thing work and not have to worry about moving players."

Baird declined to offer specifics, but the Royals are thought to be budgeting for a payroll in the mid-$50 million range by the 2006 season. A key element in the hike is the anticipation of increased revenue sharing.

The Royals opened this season with a base payroll of $40,518,000 for their 25-man roster plus outfielder Carlos Beltran, who remains on the disabled list. Club officials suggest the figure is actually closer to $41.8 million because of reachable incentive clauses.

While this year's payroll ranks 29th among baseball's 30 teams, it remains more than $4 million over the $37 million budgeted by owner David Glass in the off-season.

"We have on-field goals, and we have off-field goals," Baird acknowledged. "The off-field goals have to do with payroll. But I don't have anybody breathing down my back to move salary. Our plan right now is to stick with the plan."

From all appearances, that plan doesn't include Beltran, who reiterated a willingness this week to sign a long-term contract if the Royals prove they can put together a contending team.

But Beltran is making $6 million this season and is on track for another increase next year in arbitration before gaining free-agent eligibility after the 2004 season.

The Royals seem convinced that it makes more sense to trade Beltran for non-pitching prospects who can mature along with the club's young pitching staff.

Beltran isn't the only veteran at -- or approaching -- a crossroads. Third baseman Joe Randa, outfielder Michael Tucker and reliever Jason Grimsley are all in the final season of multiyear contracts.

The Royals must also decide whether to exercise their $3 million option for next year on catcher Brent Mayne, who turns 35 this month.

Baird wants to keep at least some of those veterans beyond this year.

"They're a key component in why these young guys have been able to succeed," he said. "Our veteran players have created a culture and an environment that allows that to happen.

"We're rebuilding. There's no doubt about that. But along with that, we need to fill voids, and we need supporting cast members for those young players."

The key is fitting those veterans into a payroll that figures to grow as the club's youthful core matures into arbitration eligibility.

The 2003 payroll includes 14 players who make less than $315,000. That group includes the club's top four starting pitchers, closer Mike MacDougal and three other relievers.

Future budgets will be tight even with the added funds from increased revenue sharing.

"We've still got payroll goals to get to," Baird said. "Everybody knows that. That's not going to go away."
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:33 AM   #2
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Here's this year's salary numbers:

The team's payroll is $40,518,000, 2nd lowest ahead of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at $19,630,000.

The five highest are:

New York Yankees $149,710,995
New York Mets $116,868,613
Los Angeles Dodgers $105,897,619
Atlanta Braves $104,622,210
Texas Rangers $104,526,470


Here's what we're paying the team player-by-player:

Mike Sweeney $11,000,000
Carlos Beltran $6,000,000
Joe Randa $4,500,000
Raul Ibanez $3,000,000
Brent Mayne $2,750,000
Michael Tucker $2,750,000
Jason Grimsley $2,000,000
Albie Lopez $1,500,000
Desi Relaford $900,000
Carlos Febles $775,000
Mike DiFelice $625,000
Darrell May $450,000
Miguel Asencio $314,000
Jeremy Affeldt $313,000
Kris Wilson $311,000
Dee Brown $309,500
Runelvys Hernandez $305,500
Ryan Bukvich $304,500
Brandon Berger $304,000
Christopher George $303,500
Angel Berroa $302,000
Robert MacDougal $301,000
D.J. Carrasco $300,000
Kenneth Harvey $300,000
Rontrez Johnson $300,000
Mendy Lopez $300,000

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Old 04-11-2003, 09:40 AM   #3
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This good news for baseball in general. Maybe it'll make for a more competitive regular season in the long run.
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