Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mixed-Up Numbers, Or How An Agent Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

Just floating a theory here....

Tucked at the bottom of a Bill Ladson article about how the Nats lost out on AJ Burnett is a quote from Burnett's agent:
"With this club, we had to be more thorough more than anything, because we knew there was a possibility that A.J. might say he wants to play for the Nationals -- because of Karen, the fact that they drew 2.7 million people last year and made $32 million," said Braunecker. "That is a club that is going to have a lot of financial resources going forward."

Last month, Thomas Heath of the WaPo broke the story that the Nationals wound up with a $10 million profit on the season, a figure that was lower than mid-season projections, which had the team taking in around $25 million. Where's Braunecker's number coming from? It's awfully precise for something someone would pull out of their backside.

I know that the MLBPA gets to see the books for each major league team, but they around bound by a confidentiality clause. Does that mean they wouldn't be able to share the info with an agent -- even if off the record? And it's probably safe to assume that Braunecker had contact with the player's association, if only because they wanted to be sure that AJ didn't leave that extra $15 million that Toronto was dangling (compared to the Cardinals' and Nationals' offer.)

I'm not saying it's a conspiracy. In fact, I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation. But I'm a naturally cynical person, and I didn't like the $10 million figure when it was first reported.

Does his agent know something we don't? Is he speaking of the pre-tax income? Did he have one too many at the Wyndham's bar? Anyone have any ideas?


  • If I were a betting man (and the regular negative balance in my checking account indicates that I am), I would guess that Braunecker was referring to some pre-tax profit number.

    Anyone who can't spell their own first name correctly is not to be trusted anyway.

    By Blogger Nate, at 12/07/2005 8:59 AM  

  • That's certainly possible.

    That's a helluva drop from 32 to 10, though. But without seeing the balance sheets (and maybe not even then!), it's all a mess to me.

    That's why I approached it so delicately....

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/07/2005 9:23 AM  

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