Revenue figures point to Braves being big spenders in free agency

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The Braves’ revenue figures have been made public. According to a report by Liberty Media on Friday, the club posted a third-quarter revenue of $252 million, an $18 million (8%) increase from the 2021 third quarter. Atlanta broke a bevy of attendance records, selling out 42 of their 81 home games. In total, they sold 3.2 million tickets, the most since 2000.

“We congratulate the Atlanta Braves, who won their fifth consecutive NL East Championship and drew record fans for Truist Park,” said Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President, via the AJC.

Revenue isn’t profit, though. Depreciation and amortization factor into profit; without getting too into the financials, the Braves had an operating profit of $13 million for the most recent quarter, compared to $35 million from a year ago. Maffei and Liberty Media attributed the decrease to higher player salaries among other operating costs.

The Braves have been shelling out money with recent extensions given to Matt Olson, Austin Riley, Michael Harris II, and Spencer Strider, along with Ronald Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies a couple of years ago. That group is locked up through at least 2027 and will be paid $662 million for the duration of their contracts. That’s not even mentioning the fact that the Braves traded for Raisel Iglesias and his lucrative contract.

With all this money committed, the Braves are still primed to raise their payroll again after having the highest budget in franchise history this past season. Atlanta had the eighth-highest payroll in baseball at $188 million in 2022. Alex Anthopoulos and Terry McGuirk said the team’s goal is to have a top-five payroll. The World Series, The Battery, and winning games have given AA financial flexibility that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

This isn’t your mother’s Braves. They are going to shell out money to maximize this championship window. And the team’s biggest question heading into the offseason is at shortstop. Dansby Swanson won’t be cheap, but the Braves will not overpay, similar to how they handled the Freddie Freeman situation. Instead of paying Freeman what he thought was an overpriced deal, AA went out and signed Matt Olson to an equally lucrative deal at a lower AAV.

One of Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, or Swanson will be the Braves shortstops in the upcoming season. Book it. 

Photo: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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