There are those reminders that sports franchises (not named the Dodgers and Yankees) have to operate with a certain business sense, and shouldn’t spend “stupid” money and move away from organizational philosophies. Some franchises with low payrolls (Orioles) can certainly on occasion spend their money with less discretion, and O’Day appears to be that situation for his acquiring team if earlier reports are correct. It certainly does not mean that teams don’t regret poor and aggressive decisions in hindsight, just ask the Phillies.
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) have become the funny money in sports. When the Dodgers signed their Time Warner RSN deal for $8.35 billion for 25 years that works out to $335 million a year. The Dodgers 2015 Opening Day payroll was $272,789,040 which is 81.4% of that RSN money. Contrast with the Nationals who were the opposite (like most other MLB teams) and got approximately $40 million in RSN fees against a 2015 Opening Day payroll of $164,920,505 which is 412.3% of that RSN money and the Nationals spend more money on payoll against RSN revenue than any other team in the MLB and that is a huge competitive disadvantage for a large market team. The Nats get no revenue sharing like the Orioles do.
For 2016, none of us know what the Nats payroll budget is. You can use $164 million as your guide for the 2016 payroll, and we have been thinking that the 2016 payroll will come in lower than that figure to give Rizzo payroll flexibility leading up to the trade deadline.
There is also this curious tweet from O’Day that maybe there’s already a balk from the Orioles or just that O’Day is well aware of the O’s getting cold feet and using the player physical as a vehicle to negate a deal:
Contrary to the news, I have not reached an agreement with the O's yet. I am flattered by all the attention, but reports are premature.
— Darren O'Day (@DODay56) December 6, 2015