Finishing the season with the worst record in baseball for the third consecutive year, the Houston Astros are expected to make some significant changes this winter and it seems that one such difference could be the team’s attitude towards spending. Owner Jim Crane spoke with some of the team’s beat writers earlier this week, offering up a glimpse at just how much financial wiggle room the team may be planning to have this winter. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Crane suggested that payroll could reach as high as $60 Million for the 2014 season.
Houston’s payroll at the close of 2013 was in the neighborhood of $13 Million.
Crane’s payroll suggestion could apparently be revised and increased, according to McTaggart, depending on how the team’s dealings progress with Comcast. A lawsuit was filed recently against four Comcast affiliates centered on the team’s agreement with Comcast SportsNet Houston regarding the team’s television rights.
More from Crane:
I would say the payroll could go to $50-60 Million very quickly and if this gets resolved it could go higher. We’re not going to make a move unless it fits into the plan, and we’re not going to rush the plan. Jeff’s got a very systematic formula and we do have some good players coming up. You add three or four key positions and bring in a couple of guys that are ready, this team is pretty competitive pretty quickly with the starting pitching we’ve got. We’re deep in pitching.
Houston is expected to pursue help for their bullpen, an outfielder, and a veteran starting pitcher this winter but they don’t figure to be involved with any of the big-name options that will available on the open market. Even with Crane’s willingness to spend, it’s tough to imagine a roster that the team might run out next season that comes close to a $60 Million payroll.