According to Milwaukee Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger, the team will have the highest payroll in its history when they take the field in 2014.
Schlesinger told MLB.com that no matter how the final numbers are calculated it will be higher than $100 million.
“The way I look at it, you look at the growth of the industry in general, and how we’re doing in revenues locally, and it makes sense,” Schlesinger said. “Mark [Attanasio, the Brewers' principal owner] has always said, ‘Listen, I’m going to take every cent I can and invest it back into the stadium and invest it back in the players.’ The fans over the year have supported us, the national television dollars are increasing, the health of the game from a revenue perspective has never been greater, so it’s only natural and fitting that we use those monies to invest in our product.”
Outfielder Ryan Braun, pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse, second baseman Rickie Weeks, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and center fielder Carlos Gomez will account for over $70 million of that total.
Schlesinger continued on to say that the Brewers should have a payroll that stretches the team past a conservative level.
“I don’t want to have a payroll where it’s very comfortable that, no matter what happens, we’re going to have a positive income number. I want us to be challenged as a business … and we go for it, and take risks and stretch ourselves from a financial perspective in a rational way.”