The Diamondbacks’ Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick has shown he’s more than willing to open his checkbook to ensure the long-term success of his club.
This offseason, the D-backs went over budget to sign a couple of key players in their quest to defend the NL West crown. Kendrick told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo Friday he’s willing to invest even more funds to keep his team among the game’s elite.
“I think first and foremost, we’re all on the same page,” Kendrick said in regards to the D-backs’ brass. “The team performed last year and we anticipate some greater revenue streams this year because of the results last year. We had some unique opportunities and I want to win. If investing more in the team is what it takes in the setting that we’re in today we’re going to try to do that.”
Kendrick’s enthusiasm and dedication to winning now is refreshing. While the D-backs have suffered the ill effects of backloaded contracts that continue to be owed to past players, Kendrick is pleased to have his club out from under that albatross of debt this season.
“We can now think in a way that you would always want to think in your business that you don’t have an extraordinary obligation that isn’t helping you win ballgames,” Kendrick explained.
Kendrick was surprised at the enormous contracts that have been handed out to players as of late. San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain’s six-year, $127.5 million guaranteed deal and Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto’s ten-year, $225 million dollar contract are the latest examples of players inking exorbitant extensions.
While Kendrick contends the contract “numbers are starting to get extraordinary”, that doesn’t mean the D-backs aren’t willing to continue to spend if TV revenue goes up.
“We hope it will and if it does our commitment has always been to take every dollar that comes in and put it back into the players,” Kendrick said. “So if the TV money is there then we’ll be able to spend them on players.”
One of the players who could benefit from an increased cash flow could be free agent-to-be catcher Miguel Montero.
Kendrick expressed a deep desire on the D-backs’ part to come to terms on a deal with their All-Star catcher this offseason.
“He’s a key player, he’s a great personality, he’s a leader,” Kendrick stated. “We want honestly to look at what fairness is in terms of his position and hopefully his representatives and we can get together on something that works for both sides.”
While Kendrick isn’t willing to place odds on the likelihood of Montero re-signing with the D-backs, he did contend that the uncertain contract status will not become a distraction during the year.
“We’re now going to play and not focus on it through the season and we would hope that we’ll get back to that,” Kendrick said. “Hopefully we’ll have a great outcome, he has a great season and we all see what keeping him long-term will mean to him and us.”
The D-backs weren’t able to ink Montero before his free agent year, but as Justin Upton’s contract extension would attest, the club has done a tremendous job of being proactive and getting franchise players locked up long before their walk years.
Kendrick believes that mentality will continue for the foreseeable future.
“Absolutely and of course having a philosophy and having the other party be cooperative,” Kendrick explained.
“They do have their representatives and they of course listen to them and we respect that and we’re going to work very hard to keep the best players that we can on the field.”