Dolan: Financial reality led to Deadline deals
Ownership's family set to lose $16 million this year, more in '10
CLEVELAND -- The Indians' ownership family is prepared to lose $16 million this season, according to president Paul Dolan, and more losses are in store for 2010.That financial reality provided the backdrop to the whirlwind of activity by the Tribe prior to the July 31 Trade Deadline, when Cy Young winner Cliff Lee and All-Star catcher Victor Martinez were shipped off in a series of moves that didn't sit particularly well with their fan base. But Dolan told reporters Thursday that the moves were for the greater good of an organization operating in a market hit hard by the recession. "The reality is we were suffering financially before we made these deals," Dolan said. "Given the team's performance this year, had we stayed put, we would not have been able to go outside the organization to bring in any new talent [in the offseason], and I think we would have suffered even greater losses [in 2010]. Our moves we've made now will certainly exacerbate that, but probably not by a significant amount." Dolan refuted the notion that the Lee and Martinez trades were mere cash dumps and said ownership was willing to go with the 2010 projected payroll that included Lee's $9 million option and Martinez's $7.2 million option. But with no significant offseason additions, the Indians didn't envision a particularly strong chance of that club contending. That's why the Indians made the moves they did, injecting the system with a wealth of new prospects, primarily pitchers. "The magnitude of the financial issue is that if we didn't succeed on the field at a high level next year, it would have had a negative impact on the team for years to come," Dolan said. "Whereas now, given the level of talent infused into the system and the level of financial flexibility that we've given ourselves, we have a better chance of being successful on the field in the outlying years [beyond 2010]." Dolan believes in this plan, and he has shown faith in general manager Mark Shapiro and assistant general manager Chris Antonetti in executing it. But he knows a significant portion of the fan base doesn't like it one bit. "Yes, they're not happy with us now," he said, "but they weren't going to be happy with us for years to come if we didn't do the things we did."
Cululative Major League records and payrolls, 2005-09
|Angels||442 - 312 .586||$562,892,354||$232,407,497|
|Yankees||441 - 315 .583||$1,071,941,910||$741,457,053|
|Red Sox||434 - 321 .575||$707,951,121||$377,466,264|
|Phillies||415 - 339 .550||$543,839,598||$213,354,741|
|Mets||408 - 348 .540||$645,120,444||$314,635,587|
|White Sox||406 - 352 .536||$491,835,223||$161,350,366|
|Cardinals||406 - 351 .536||$496,739,931||$166,255,074|
|Twins||399 - 358 .527||$332,626,863||$2,142,006|
|Indians||394 - 362 .521||$330,484,857||--|
|Dodgers||392 - 365 .518||$587,695,228||$257,210,371|
|Blue Jays||387 - 368 .513||$401,115,845||$70,630,988|
|Cubs||384 - 369 .510||$600,061,530||$269,576,673|
|Tigers||385 - 370 .510||$534,656,484||$204,171,627|
|* Payroll difference from the Indians.
Standings are through Aug. 7
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.