While there has been concern by fans, and even players such as Chipper Jones about possible cuts to the player patroll should MLB approve the sale of the Braves to Colorado based Liberty Media, team president Terry McGuirk says not to worry.
"I can tell you categorically — there's not going to be any cutbacks," McGuirk said Monday.
McGuirk appears to be at least one component of the current front office staff that will remain with the club when MLB approves the sale.
On the sale, McGuirk said, "It's overdue. Therefore it's no telling when it might get done. There's no timetable."
General manager John Schuerholz and manager Bobby Cox are under contract through 2007.
Atlanta's 2006 payroll was about $40 million less than Boston's and $20 million below the payroll of the NL East champion New York Mets. But it's more than five times Florida's major league-low $15 million payroll. The Marlins finished fourth in the NL East, one game behind the Braves (79-83).
McGuirk said the $80 million figure has been a good level for the Braves, necessitating careful free-agent spending and more reliance on players drafted and developed by the Braves in their traditionally strong minor league organization. He believes the "Baby Braves" of 2005 re-energized the team and its fan base.
"I think the proof of the pudding was there this weekend when 100,000 showed up to watch a team that was out of the playoffs," McGuirk said, referring to the crowd total for a three-game weekend series against Houston that ended Sunday, which pushed season attendance slightly above the 2005 total.
(The Atlanta Journal Constitution)