Assuming nothing changes by Opening Day, the Indians will go into 2020 with a payroll somewhere in the $82 million range for their 25-man roster. That’s down some $60 million from the franchise record $142 million of 2018 according to Spotrac, which when you look at it kind of tells the story of why they fell behind the Twins in the division.
We’ve been told it’s simply hard for the team to pay for things, though, so I guess we can’t be mad.
Still, it seems like there’s something the ownership could do, spending-wise. I think I’ll help them. I don’t want to bankrupt the poor guys, so what if we decided on a way or two for them to spend, say, $30 million dollars? I have some thoughts.
Give Yasiel Puig some money
I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the biggest Puig fanboy when he was on the Indians. When he first arrived in the MLB I loved the guy — he was a dervish just destroying baseballs and making plays, and was a blast to watch. He’s still some of that, but his reputation and biceps travel much further than his actual offensive talent at this point. Still, the Tribe could sure use a corner outfielder with a laser cannon arm, even if he’s just league average.
I don’t know what kind of amount we’re talking here, maybe two years, $18 million? Is that undercutting him? The longer we wait, the less expensive he gets.
Buy a Bugatti Chiron
I get a little bothered when billionaires don’t actually live like, you know, billionaires. What’s the point of having an unconscionable amount of money in an age of rising inequality, if not to show that shit off? Now, I’ve never been a big Bugatti fan, kind of thought he cars looked like a lumpy melting fruit. They cost $3,000,000 after tax, though. It doesn’t get much more conspicuous consumption than the most expensive, fastest, ugliest car on the market. At top speed it runs out of gas in like seven minutes, which is pretty cool.
Charter to Zurich, stay a month
I was gonna say “charter a jet to the most expensive city in the world”, but apparently that’s New York, at $480 a night on average. That’s boring, though. Really rich people go to places like Zurich and Abu Dhabi, and I’ve long felt the Emirates are a bit played out at this point.
Anyway, a charter jet on the high end costs about $140,000 each way, and staying a month at $400 a night runs you another $12,000 per person, meaning we’re just around $325,000 for the trip if he brings a person or two. Rounding up for ease of counting means a very baller time for the 60-year-old Jim Dolan, and dang it, he deserves it.
It gets hard to spend money sometimes. Anyway, we’ve got about $9.5 million left to go.
At this point there’s one of three ways our boy Paul could go — actually useful, frivolous or fun for the fans. Let’s look at each one:
I already got the outfielder they needed in Puig, but what about Brock Holt? He’s not exactly amazing, though the 102 wRC+ last year was basically what Puig did. He’s also a big platoon guy, with only 61 of his 295 plate appearances coming against left-handed pitching. So obviously Francona would love him. Would it be the perfect player? Of course not, but the Indians aren’t exactly in perfect player territory as it is. Holt would be okay. and he plays a mediocre second base and the outfield.
That’s about all we can hope for when we’re spending less than $10 million on a player.
Fun for the fans
So the cost of a beer at the park ranges from $4 to $12. For me at least, I tack towards the lower end if I’m at the park, after the first one at least. Let’s say, on average, they cost $6. I could be low-balling it, but let’s go with that. If Dolan bought 30,000 beers every single home game, that comes out to $12.1 million. It’s a little over the budget we set, but if you’re buying unlimited good will of the fanbase, that’s a good start, right? Anyway, they only averaged 22,000 a game last year, and I don’t see that tracking up. Not until Dolan starts buying everyone a beer at least. It would all work out.
Literally stealing from Brewster’s Millions on this one, but the Guiana 1c Magenta, a stamp from the 1800’s, costs about €9 Million. That’s about $9.25 million. And, just like the movie, he uses it to send a letter. It’s the most efficient waste of money on Earth, especially since it’s not even valid postage and it would be returned to sender.
It’s hard to spend money, a lot of it anyway. Sure, you could just spend it on, you know, players. They cost large chunks of change. Then there’d be no Bugatti or trip to Zurich or 2.5 million beers. And when you’re rich, isn’t that what it’s really about. It would be … cathartic, I guess, if Dolan was tooling around downtown in a ridiculous car. Unfortunately, rich people just don’t do that enough, which is rude. If you’re going to have too much money, at least show it off.
Hopefully he takes some of this stupid advice though.