Liberty Media President on Braves payroll: “I fully expect to be in the top five”

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Following the Braves postseason exit, Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk told the media that payroll will rise again in 2023, with the goal being for the Braves to enter the top five in terms of spending. 

That had to be music to the ears of Braves Country, but I tempered my expectations because McGuirk didn’t exactly say when he planned for the team to enter the top five payrolls, and that would be an incredible leap of over $50 million in just one season. However, we now have some clarity to the situation as Liberty Media’s President and CEO, Greg Maffei, doubled down on Mcguirk’s original statement regarding the Braves payroll, saying, “I fully expect to be in the top five. We can afford it.”

Now that it has been said twice by two different high-ranking members of the organization, I have no reason to believe the Braves won’t be among the biggest spenders this offseason. It would be an extremely peculiar move for the Braves to come out and say this on two different occasions and fail to follow through.

A top-five payroll next season is likely to be around $250 million (it was a hair under $243 million for 2022). Following arbitration deals, the team’s payroll for 2023 will be around $180-190 million, meaning Alex Anthopoulos should have at least $50 million to spend this offseason. That’s plenty enough to sign one of the premier shortstops and more. These next few months will be a wild ride — in a good way. So strap in Braves fans; this offseason could be the biggest in franchise history.

Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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