D-backs CEO Derrick Hall speaks about the financial ramifications of the Arroyo-Toussaint deal, new TV contract
It’s been almost a week since the Arizona Diamondbacks unloaded the contract of Bronson Arroyo in a trade with the Atlanta Braves that also involved the team dealing a top prospect.
Right-handed pitcher Touki Toussaint, the club’s first-round draft pick last June and No. 5 organizational prospect, was also shipped off to the Braves in exchange for utility infielder Phil Gosselin.
The trade has been met with much criticism, both nationally and locally.
Some critics didn’t understand Arizona’s need to dump salary, considering the future influx of money from a new $1 billion television deal struck with Fox Sports Arizona.
Team president and CEO Derrick Hall says despite that windfall, this deal still needed to be done for financial reasons.
“When Tony (La Russa) and Stew (GM Dave Stewart) came to me in the offseason and said they had great interest in signing Yasmany Tomas and Yoan Lopez, we agreed to do so with the understanding that if we did that, we still had to move some money,” Hall told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“That’s why we moved Trumbo. Arroyo puts us over the top and frees up another $4.5 million that would have had to pay in a buyout next year that we can still spend elsewhere. And we still have Lopez, who we think who is going to emerge and be a starting candidate in our rotation very soon.”
The somewhat unexpected signings of Tomas ($68.5 million over six years) and Lopez, whose deal included a record $8.2 million signing bonus, did significantly change the D-backs’ financial outlook.
And about that television money — there will be a very slow building increase in the effects of that contract, according to Hall.
“If we got over a billion dollars for the 2016 season, we’d be spending it in the 2016 season,” he said. “But that’s not the way that works. You get a little bit next year, a little bit more the year after that. It adds up and it continues to increase each year.
“It’s not a huge jump the first year. But I can tell you, the first year, the increase we’re getting is going right into payroll. We’re spending everything we possibly can at this point. Our payroll, what we budgeted went way over when we signed Lopez and Tomas, so we had to bring it back down.”
While the benefits of that TV contract will be slow to build, there will be a payroll increase for the Diamondbacks next season.
“Next year, it’s going to be an increase. It’s going to go up at least $10 million — I hate to put numbers on it, but that’s what we’ve got penciled in now.”