Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Can Texas Run With the Big Boys

I saw an interesting little tidbit in Jayson Starks Rumblings and Grumblings column today. Much has been made of Texas's new TV deal that will pay them roughly $1.6 billion over a 20 year period. Many believe that the deal will give the Rangers the financial clout to stick with the Yankees in a bidding war for the services of Mr. Lee.

Now no one really expects the Rangers to match a deal that New York throws at Lee dollar-for-dollar, but the logic for the Rangers is that they just need to keep it close and Texas's locale and tax laws will make up the difference.

But as Stark explains in the article, is that the Rangers really wont be able to use that money in negotiations with Lee. The TV deal money won't be available to the Rangers until the deal kicks in around 2015, which would be year five of any deal Lee signs this off season. Stark also explains that the deal likely sent a good portion of money to the auction block to pay for the purchase of the team. It will also result in the Rangers losing their revenue sharing money.

Stack that on top of the fact that the Lee would only get tax breaks on games played in Texas and suddenly it seems that if the Rangers pony up the money to sign Lee they would find themselves in a similar position as what Tom Hicks ended up in after giving A-Rod his record setting $252 million deal.

The Yankees signing Lee isn't a lock, but it does seem that the Rangers are in as strong a positions as they seemed to be a month ago.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

All true, and I am not sure who Lee will sign with, but I think there is a difference in ownership groups. Hicks gave Rodriguez $25 million a year as part of a $70 million payroll. It appears the new ownership group is going to push payroll up to, maybe even over, $100 million.

So, can you pay a starting pitcher $20 million as part of a $100 million payroll?

That is not ideal, but it works for a lot of teams, including the Giants, who paid Barry Zito $18 million this past season to not be on the playoff roster.

So I think there will be a lot of clubs, some surprising, offering Lee a lot of money. Will the sheer dollar amounts the Yankees offer triumph? Like you said, it's not a lock, but the key is in the door.