And then there are big-money local deals. The Dodgers are creating a cable network with Time Warner Cable that assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. News Corp. is paying the Yankees’ owners $500 million as part of a deal that could allow it up to 80 percent ownership of the YES Network.
Teams are rushing to lock up prized players. For the Giants, the homegrown talent is especially valuable.
“When you have your own player, you’re successful with your own player, he’s test driven you and you’ve test driven him, it takes a lot of the risk out of the business to be able to go forward,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said.
“It also makes forming your team a lot easier because you know the plusses and minuses, in Buster’s case, there aren’t a lot of minuses. You know who these guys are, you know some of the X factors. A lot of times when you get a free agent, you don’t know the X factors, whether it’s work ethic or character. So, I think it’s going to be a continuing trend that teams try to lock up their own players as much as possible,” he said.
Earlier this week, St. Louis gave pitcher Adam Wainwright, a $97.5 million deal covering 2014-18 that raises his guaranteed income to $109.5 million over the next six seasons. At a lower level, Arizona is nearing agreement with Paul Goldschmidt on a $32 million, five-year contract that would run from 2014-18. The first baseman has less than 1½ years in the big leagues.
“It’s good to see these players are getting tied up with their club. It’s the way it used to be,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “I know growing up when you were playing on a team they pretty much had the same core players, and it seems like it’s going that way again with the long-term contracts.”