Posted on: August 24, 2010 10:39 pm

MLB zeroing in on document leaks

The New York Daily News points the finger at an unnamed insurance carrier as the source of a leak of financial documents for several teams.

Naming two "Major League Baseball sources," the newspaper says MLB's Department of Investigations is hot on the trail of the leaks.

The Associated Press got its hands on the Pirates' books, while the Rays, Marlins, Mariners, Angels and Rangers had their financial information given to Deadspin.com.

Deadpsin writer Tommy Craggs would not say if he had more financial reports -- "can't comment on that, unfortunately, at least not while my source is running from black helicopters," Craggs told the paper in an e-mail.

The documents showed some teams were pocketing revenue-sharing money from some of the larger teams.

"It was beneficial, some of the information," one source told the paper. "I think a lot of people were glad to see that the receipts were higher" but not happy to see some "transfer of equity was not going toward players and player development."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 23, 2010 8:32 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2010 12:22 am

Are Manny's Dodger days numbered?

Manny Ramirez Manny Ramirez hasn't been put through waivers yet, according to multiple reports, but he will be put on waivers soon.

After that happens, there are two interesting questions:

1. Will he be claimed?

2. If not, would the Dodgers release him?

Ramirez, despite all his well-chronicled deficiencies and idiosyncrasies, can still flat-out hit. At 38, he's hitting .312/.404/.508 with eight homers and 39 RBI in 223 plate appearances.

While at first glance, acquiring someone making $20 million this season would seem cost-prohibitive. However, his base salary is only $5 million and any team that acquired him would owe roughly $1.1 million for the rest of the season and then part of the remaining three deferred payments for the remainder of his salary. That could be roughly $3.3 million, give or take.

So who would be interested? He'd be a perfect fit back in the American League for any team searching for some extra pop down the stretch -- think the Rays, White Sox or maybe even the Rangers or Yankees.
However, he's available to National League teams first -- could a team like the Braves or Padres take a chance on him and make him a high-priced pinch hitter?

A National League executive tells CBSSports.com that he expects Ramirez to be claimed by an American League team. Another big league source expects Ramirez to clear waivers, but then have a trade work out, noting the $4 million pricetag for one month of a designated hitter as being just too much to handle. If Ramirez is claimed as a blocking move, the Dodgers would likely let the claiming team just have him -- but that comes with one big if.

Ramirez has a full no-trade clause. If he's claimed, he can still block a move. If clears waivers, would the Dodgers just release him? He's no longer the draw he once was and the Dodgers aren't doing anything but playing out the string. It's certainly possible, but it's unlikely he'd be out of a job too long.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: August 23, 2010 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 2:34 pm

Financial statements of teams released

Money On Sunday night, Deadspin released financial statements for the Pirates, Rays and Angels, giving fans a rare glimpse inside the checkbook of teams. The privacy of team's spending allocations and revenues has been a tightly guarded secret, so this information is rather rare to come by.

For example, did you know the Rays only made a paltry $2.46 per person on concessions in 2007, a figure that skyrocketed to $5.38 in 2008, the year they made the playoffs?

Yep, winning does indeed make money.

How about the flailing Marlins, who made just $1.64 per person in concessions in 2009 -- but spent just over $30 million in player development? The $44 million received in revenue sharing gave the Marlins a net income of $3 million. Doesn't exactly mesh with the prevailing notion that the Marlins just take the money and pocket it, now does it?

Monday morning, the financial documents of the Mariners were released as well on Deadspin, giving teams an even clearer picture of how teams stack up. And while most of the stories have focused on the fact that these teams are turning a profit instead of putting it back into the team, what people are missing is the fact that a) relatively speaking, the profit is not all that much and b) there are plenty of expenses that go into a team other than major-league payroll.

Maury Brown of BizofBaseball.com broke down what it all means in a series of tables. One such table is a breakdown of all the team's profit (minus long-term debt) as measured by BizofBaseball.com:

Net Income
Year Club Amount
2008 Pirates $14,408,249
2007 Pirates $15,008,032
2009 Angels $10,732,000
2008 Angels $7,088,000
2009 Marlins $3,900,000
2008 Marlins $29,462,000
2008 Rays $4,016,163
2007 Rays $11,066,191
2008 Mariners ($4,533,000)
2007 Mariners $17,864,000

The Mariners are the only team to lose money, and this was in 2008 when the team went 61-101. No wonder Bill Bavasi lost his job as general manager.

Take these profits with a grain of salt. Yes, sometimes profits do go in the pockets of the owners -- as is their right; it is a business, after all -- but oftentimes the budget calls for theoretical money put aside for a midseason acquisition, signing international free agents and drafted players and the like. It is not always a measure of pocketing money. Sometimes that money gets spent -- sometimes it doesn't. In Padres assistant GM Paul DePodesta's blog recapping their poor draft signing season of 2010, DePodesta notes that in the last few years, the Pads have been among the most aggressive in cash outlays. Not doing so in 2010 isn't because the owners wanted to pocket money, but because the opportunity never materialized.

"It doesn't change the fact that from 2007-2009 only the Yankees and Red Sox spent more on amateur players than we did. We planned for that trend to continue in 2010, and we'll plan for it again in 2011," he wrote on his blog.

Okay, so what if that money did get spent on the draft? How do you explain the rest of the profit? It could be from overachieving -- more fans coming out to the park than projected, or simply not having a need to spend that money. If you have money, it doesn't mean you should just throw it around.

Take Pittsburgh, for example, a team that made roughly $15 million per year in 2007 and 2008. Does anyone think that signing a player to a $10 million deal -- which would have given them roughly an above-league average player, would have been the tipping point to get Pittsburgh into the playoffs? Why not hold onto that money and invest it elsewhere in future years, as Pittsburgh has? The team is among the leaders in dollars laid out for amateur players, so it's not like Bob Nutting is dropping the money into a tank and diving into piles of money like Scrooge McDuck.

Carlos Guillen makes an average of $12 million on a contract running from 2008-2011. Would he have made the Pirates win? How about Rafael Furcal? Scott Rolen? All made about $10-$12 million annually in the 2007-08 time period. All would not have been enough. And all could have been had as free agents.

These financial statements are extremely illuminating and will be fodder for discussion in the coming months. However, while MLB and team owners must be outraged that these documents were leaked, in the long run, these documents may help people understand the costs of running businesses. Yes, it is admirable when owners pay out of their pocket to ensure a winning team, but do that too long and a "For Sale" sign will eventually be put up.

What these documents show is that teams are pocketing far less than anticipated. Nothing jumps out here that represents a gross abuse of power -- and the Marlins and Pirates have been at the forefront of these claims recently (with yours truly joining in). Perhaps this will quiet those claims.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 18, 2010 2:22 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 8:06 pm

Adam LaRoche clears waivers

Adam LaRoche Do you suppose Adam LaRoche even unpacks his bags anymore? Does he dare to buy fresh fruit?

In 2009, the first baseman was traded from the Pirates to the Red Sox to the Braves. In January he signed with the Diamondbacks, but now he could be on the move again.

John Gambadoro of Phoenix-area radio station KTAR reports via Twitter that LaRoche has cleared waivers, which means the Diamondbacks can now trade him to any team. He'd be a nice pickup for a contender, and fairly cheap -- he's owed a little over a million remaining on this year's salary, and has a mutual option for 2011 that can be bought out for $1.5 million (or picked up for $9.5 million). What's kind of odd is that his contract called for the option to escalate from $7.5 million to $9.5 million if he was traded, pretty much assuring if he changes addresses during the season, he'd have to do so again next year.

LaRoche has always been a second-half player, and he's doing it again this year. He's batting .381/.409/.762 with six homers and 11 RBI in August and on Sunday hit his 20th homer. The White Sox and Rays are looking for power, and even after signing Carlos Beltran, the Red Sox might consider LaRoche a superior option to platoon with Mike Lowell.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Colorado's Brad Hawpe has also cleared waivers, according to the Denver Post's Troy Renck (via Twitter ). The suitors for Hawpe would likely be about the same as LaRoche, though he may be a tad less desirable.  Hawpe is owed roughly $2 million and he can void the $10 million  club option for 2011 if traded. The buyout for that option is $500,000.

UPDATE: Renck tweets he expects a move with Hawpe after tonight's game or before tomorrow's game. Hawpe may be outrighted. In addition, Texas seems to have some interest in picking him up.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:25 pm

Moms love Pat Burrell

Pat Burrell For a while, what most people knew about Pat Burrell was that he hated the nickname "Pat the Bat." He is infinitely more likable today because of two stories I read as the Giants and Burrell return to Philadelphia.

The first is from his Giants teammate Aubrey Huff from back when the two were at the University of Miami. The San Jose Mercury News ' Andrew Baggarly has this story :
"After two weeks at Miami, I wanted to go home," Huff said. "So my mom flies out, trying to convince me to stay. I was living with two seniors and they ragged me, too. I just didn't understand all this baseball ragging nonsense. She's in my room one night and I'm sitting on my bed and she's telling me to give it another two weeks.

"Anyway, there's a knock on the door, and before I can even get off the bed, Pat comes barging in with a six-pack in his hand, dripping wet, buck naked.

"So I jumped up and shut the door. Coming from Texas, these things didn't happen. I said, 'See what I'm dealing with here, Mom?'

"She just started laughing and said, 'Actually, Aubrey, that's pretty darn funny.
Burrell then gave his side of the story:

"Yeah, that's pretty much how it happened," he said. "I was looking for the shampoo. There wasn't any in the shower. Obviously, I didn't know his mom was in there."

Long pause.

"I don't know how the six-pack got in my hands."

Huff's mother wasn't available for comment, apparently, to add light on how Burrell got his nickname.

The second story comes from MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, with this story from Aug. 6 when Burrell's sacrifice fly beat gave the Giants a victory over the Braves in the 11th inning.
In fact, shortly after Burrell's sacrifice fly won the game in Atlanta, Phillies director of team travel and clubhouse services Frank Coppenbarger heard his phone buzzing next to his bed. Coppenbarger woke up and checked his phone to find a text message from Burrell:

"You're welcome."
Burrell was released by the Rays in June and has had a resurgence since, hitting .285/.378/.527 with 10 homers and 30 RBI for the Giants in 56 games. In 24 games with the Rays, he hit .202/.292/.333 with two home runs and 13 RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:26 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 7:12 pm

Rays to hit the road in style

Joe Maddon Fans love to nit-pick lineups and in-game decisions, but most of a manager's job is done behind the scenes. I've always said, that the position is called a "manager" for a reason -- there's more managing, people and situations, than coaching involved with a big league manager.

If I'm running a team, there are few managers I pick over Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon. His players love him and it goes a long way.

One of the things Maddon has done this season to keep his team in good spirits is organize themed road trips, but his grand plan has all come together for the Rays' next trip,

As the Rays travel from Tampa to Oakland following Wednesday's game against the Rangers and then on to Anaheim before returning home, the Rays will be sporting new custom-designed and custom-made "BRayser" -- a Rays blazer.

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times has allowed us to share this picture he took of the BRayser on his blog .


"The BRaysers are in, they're fabulous, they met with everybody's approval," Maddon told Topkin. "We're going to wear them on this trip -- the team BRayser."

It's a good thing is Maddon pulled this out of the closet after the team changed its color palette.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Tags: Joe Maddon, Rays
Posted on: August 16, 2010 8:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:11 pm

Rangers-Rays showdown delivering

The faceoff in Tampa between Cliff Lee and David Price is living up to the hype.

Perhaps the biggest shocker was that Lee -- gasp! -- issued a walk, putting Carlos Pena aboard to lead off the fifth. It was just his 10th of the season, his second to lead off an innng and his first to a left-handed batter. It's worth noting that he also struck out seven in the first five innings, keeping his insane strikeout-to-walk ratio over 14. The walk came back to bite Lee, as, after an ensuing single and sacrifice, Willie Aybar hit a two-run single to break the seal.

Through five innings, it's 2-0 Rays. Follow along on this one through our MLB GameTracker.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 16, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 4:37 pm

Rays activate Pena, place Kapler on DL

Carlos Pena The Rays have activated first baseman Carlos Pena and placed outfielder Gabe Kapler on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain.

Kapler suffered the sprain on Saturday in a play at the plate with Baltimore's Matt Wieters and told reporters it's "best to address it now."

As in when the roster is still limited to 25 players. Kapler didn't play on Sunday, so he's eligible to return to the roster on Aug. 30, two days before rosters expand.

Pena has been out of the lineup since July 31 due to a plantar fascia sprain. He's hitting .212/.332/.441 with 23 homers and 68 RBI.

Kapler is hitting .210/.288/.290 with two homers and 14 RBI in a reserve outfielder role.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com