Rob Manfred questions whether San Diego Padres can sustain their huge payroll in small market

PHOENIX — The financial variation in baseball is beginning to end up being a worrying issue amongst owners, with commissioner Rob Manfred questioning Wednesday whether groups like the San Diego Padres can potentially sustain their huge payroll in baseball’s fifth-smallest market.

“Look, I believe there’s genuine positives in the Padres story,’’ Manfred stated at his spring-training interview. “I believe the financial investment that the club has actually made in skill has actually enabled them to grow their profits to be a payor [and not be a receiver] in the profits system.

“The technique for the smaller sized markets has actually constantly been sustainability. Hats off to [Chairman] Peter Seidler. He’s made a huge monetary dedication personally to make this all occur.

“The concern ends up being, ‘How long can you continue to do that? What takes place when you need to go through a reconstruct?’ But they have actually done an actually, truly great task of profiting from their skill to drive their profits.’’

Manfred, in an interview with U.S.A. TODAY Sports after journalism conference, stated that the Padres currently are ensured to lose cash this season with a payroll of about $250 million — third biggest in the video game. The Mets, who will pay almost $500 in payroll and high-end tax charges this season, are anticipated to lose the most cash amongst the 30 clubs.

There was $3.7 billion invested in totally free company this off-season, with 7 groups investing $2.6 billion.

“Look, you can’t take a look at what occurred in the offseason and not be worried about the variation,’’ Manfred stated. “It’s a subject of discussion.

“The Padres are going to lose cash, however the concern is what are you going to do next.’’

With gamers such as Manny Machado and Juan Soto on the lineup, the Padres have among Major League Baseball’s most robust payrolls.

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What will occur with MLB groups airing on Diamond Sports networks?

The most popular subject of discussion at Manfred’s interview was the future of Diamond Sports, which owns 19 local cable television networks including 14 major-league groups. The business went into a 30-day grace duration with financial institutions Wednesday after missing out on a scheduled interest payment of $140 million. There’s about $1 billion at stake for MLB groups.

If Diamond is not able to transmit video games, Manfred stated that groups will end their arrangements, providing groups the right to transmit on conventional and digital cable television, with the aid of MLB Network.

“We are ready, no matter what takes place,’’ Manfred stated, “to make certain the video games are readily available to fans in regional markets. … Our hope is that Diamond figures a method to pay us.’’

What about MLB’s blackout limitations?

MLB will likewise continue attempting to solve their blackout limitations throughout the nation, with fans grumbling that they can’t enjoy all of the video games they prefer.

“I believe in the last number of years if you offer me one word that is Central Baseball’s No. 1 top priority,’’ Manfred stated, “that word is reach. Blackouts are the type of opposite side of the coin of reach. We require to provide item to fans who wish to enjoy on platforms that they usually utilize at a reasonable rate. That is our No. 1 top priority.’’

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Rob Manfred talks about Mike Clevinger at spring camp

Manfred discussed the choice not to location Chicago White Sox pitcher Mike Clevinger on administrative leave while MLB examines whether he broke the league’s domestic violence policy.

“It’s not an automatic thing,’’ Manfred said. “It’s a product of what we know in the investigation this point of time. It depends on what we have, and where we have.’’

Future of A’s: Oakland or Las Vegas?

MLB has not had any recent discussions with Oakland city officials about keeping the Athletics in Oakland, and are now focusing their attention about owner John Fisher potentially moving the franchise to Las Vegas.

“Mr. Fisher wants to make the best deal to secure the future of the A’s,’’ Manfred said, “whether it’s in Oakland or Las Vegas.’’

Rob Manfred says MLB still evaluating automatic strike zone

No timetable has been set to implement an automatic strike zone.

“We’re still in an evaluation mode of that,’’ Manfred said. “We had a lot of change coming this year. We’ve got to see how all that takes.’’

‘Clubs enjoy’ the ghost runner rule

On Monday, MLB announced that it is retaining the automatic runner at second base in extra innings.

“The clubs enjoy the rule,’’ Manfred said. “There’s really a lot of consensus in the game that it is a good rule. It does bring focus at the end of the game.’’

World Baseball Classic will be ‘best tournament we’ve ever had’

The 2023 World Baseball Classic — the first such tournament since 2017 — will open play on March 7 and run through March 21.

“The quality of players that are participating this year,” Manfred stated. “I think virtually ensure that it’s going to be the best tournament that we’ve ever had. It’s really an embarrassment of riches for us.’’

New rules will enhance athleticism of players, Rob Manfred says

Enlarged bases, pitch clocks and a ban on defensive shifts are major rule changes being implemented for the 2023 season.

“We listen carefully to our fans on this topic over a long period of time. We think the changes are going to produce a crisp, exciting game,” Manfred stated. “I think the athleticism of our great athletes will shine through and it’s really not about changing anything. It’s about making sure that we put the very best people on the field.’’

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Rob Manfred talks new 2023 MLB schedule

On the new scheduling that assures every team will play each other and play in interleague cities at least once every two years, Manfred said “we have a lot of great players, and in terms of making the sport more national, it’s important that people in markets get more opportunities to see those three players on a regular basis.’’

Follow Bob Nightengale on Twitter @Bnightengale.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rob Manfred discusses Padres, regional cable networks, new MLB rules

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