The past day or so has seen a lot of news coming across the wire in regards to the Fox Sports San Diego deal. At first it looked like San Diego was to be guaranteed $75 million a year from the deal for the next 20 years. However, Tom Garfinkel quickly came out and said that report wasn’t quite accurate.
The Padres will have an approximately 20-percent stake in the newly created Fox regional sports network.
The deal is still awaiting league approval, but if it goes through will certainly help the Padres maintain and middle-of-the-pack payroll. Last year, Jeff Moorad said his plans were to steadily increase the Padres personnel spending and eventually land at about $70 million a season. They’ve started that already this season, and the Fox deal could solidify the plan.
The Padres, with an ownership stake in the network, will see their yearly revenue fluctuate. However, the deal could still be worth the $1.5 billion Bob Nightengale reported originally in USA Today. This deal, if approved by the commissioner’s office, will put San Diego in a position both exciting and frightening.
In the very near future, with a Fox TV deal and a stacked farm system, the Padres will have very little excuse for not competing. It’s exciting to think about the Padres in a position to compete year in and year out, but it’s frightening to see the excuse for why they don’t compete disappear. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that a consistent payroll of $70 million a year is far cry from what even our neighbors to the north will be spending in Los Angeles let alone what the big spenders will shell out every year. But it does put San Diego in a much better position.
The Padres could find themselves in a spot similar to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks do not generally have a ton of money to spend, but they outspend the Padres. However, the Diamondbacks have had their ups and downs as well. Payroll doesn’t guarantee wins. With the increased payroll and the ultimate revenue stream from this Fox Sports San Diego deal, the Padres must be smart with the way they build their team. We may soon be at a point where simply tossing out the label “small-market” is no longer excuse enough to justify another losing season.