Results tagged ‘ payroll ’
Astros owner Jim Crane said last week the team would be in position to increase its payroll next year, and on Tuesday he gave his first indication just how much money could be spent on players.
Crane said the Astros’ payroll, which was at about $13 million to end the season, could be between $50-60 million next year regardless whether the club is able to settle its disagreement with Comcast. The Astros contend Comcast/NBC improperly filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition in an attempt to prevent it from terminating the media rights agreement between the team and Houston Regional Sports Network.
The Astros on Monday filed a motion to dismiss an involuntary Chapter 11 filed by four Comcast affiliates against Houston Regional Sports Network, the parent company of Comcast SportsNet Houston.
“If this gets resolved, we could go a little bit deeper,” Crane said.
The Astros are encouraged by some of the young talent that hit Houston last season and are even more enthused about the prospects that are now sitting at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues and could make an impact next year. Still, the Astros will be in the market this winter for a closer, an outfielder with some pop and a veteran starting pitcher.
That means the Astros could have about $30 million to spread among three or four players, but don’t expect general manager Jeff Luhnow to make a run at any of the higher-end free agents just yet.
“I would say [the payroll] could go to $50-60 [million] very quickly, and if this gets resolved it could go higher,” Crane said. “We’re not going to make a move unless it fits into the plan, and we’re not going to rush the plan. Jeff’s got a very systematic formula and we do have some good players coming up. You add three or four key positions and bring in a couple of guys that are ready, this team is pretty competitive pretty quickly with the starting pitching we’ve got. We’re deep in pitching.”
Left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright was called into Astros manager Bo Porter’s office by pitching coach Doug Brocail just prior to game time Monday, where general manager Jeff Luhnow delivered the news he was being traded to the Rays in exchange for money.
In 54 relief appearances this season, Wright was 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA.
“I’m excited,” Wright told MLB.com. “It’s an opportunity to go pitch for a contending team and something I’ve always wanted to do, and to get this opportunity now is kind of shocking, but I’m also excited about it.”
Wright was the longest-tenured member of the team, appearing in 71 games for the Astros in 2008 after they plucked him away from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft. He was also the team’s second-highest paid player, meaning left-hander Erik Bedard is the only remaining player making more than $1 million ($1.15 million).
“The organization has been great to me and my family throughout the past six seasons,” Wright said. “They gave me an opportunity to see what I can do at the big league level. I’m really grateful to the organization and the fans and the city. They were really supportive to me and my teammates. Even in the down years, they supported me and all I can say is thanks to the city of Houston and the fans.”
Luhnow also announced that the Astros will select the contract of right-handed pitcher Philip Humber from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Humber will join the Astros in Oakland on Tuesday. In his last seven appearances (in relief) with OKC, Humber was 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA with two walks and 14 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings pitched.
Humber began the 2013 season in the Astros starting rotation, making seven starts and nine appearances overall before eventually being outrighted to Oklahoma City.