So Rogers and Bell got together to buy most of MLSE, each paying $533 million for 75% of the team, shared equally, while Larry Tanenbaum's share of the team goes up from 20% to 25%. What does it mean? Well, it means you could own the Leafs, Raptors and all, for roughly 5 Albert Pujols. Which would you prefer to own, ten years of Albert Pujols or roughly 20% of MLSE?
What's it all mean? Most importantly, Pension Plan Puppets needs a new name. Beyond that, Rogers and Bell buy themselves a lot of content for all their various platforms. Why did the Teacher's Union sell? It always seemed to be strange that a Teacher's Pension Plan would own it, but it was a good investment. It will be a good investment for Rogers and Bell too. The Teachers just figured this was the time to get out and they got an offer they liked.
Does it mean anything to the Jays? Not really. Perhaps it waters down the 'special relationship that RSN had with the Jays, but I doubt we see much difference on the Sportsnet channels. Sportsnet Connected always opens with hockey stories anyway. We'll still get Jays games on RSN and and Jays Connected.
Is that why Alex was talking about 'payroll parameters'? Nah, No way was Alex in the loop about the sale a week before it happen. He is several steps away from Rogers. Alex always has said that they wouldn't be going after free agents until they were close.
There was no way Alex was going to out bid 10 years, $250 some million to bring Albert here, he just got rid of one bad contract, why would he want another. He's not going to be signing Prince Fielder, at least not right now. It would take $200 million to get Fielder right now. Fielder won't sign for less, at least until he and his agent are sure there isn't a contract like that out there. Maybe in a few weeks Fielder will find that he won't get that and then Alex can see if 5 to 7 years will get him.
The money that Rogers is spending on MLSE isn't coming out of the Jay's budget. Paul Beeston said that payroll could go up to $150 million, but we knew that wasn't going to happen in one off-season. We knew if would happen over a few seasons. Meanwhile, Alex would build the team up form the bottom. He's not going to try to take a short cut that will limit his options in the future when he figures to contend year after year. Alex wasn't going to give anyone a stupid contract before this purchase, he won't be after it either.
The deal doesn't mean that Blue Jay (or for that matter, Maple Leaf) ticket prices will be going up, in a hurry, so that Rogers can make up the money in a hurry. A lot of thought goes into ticket pricing. They want to find the price that will make the most money. They already know how to get as much money out of our pockets as they can, raising prices won't help them do that.
Rogers (and Bell) are smart enough to keep fairly hands off on the sports side of the teams. I can't see them replacing front office people with the Leafs. They won't be changing things with the Jays. If Alex feels he needs more money, just like before, he'll have to make the case to them, just like before.
Rogers doesn't expect the Jays to pay for this purchase, they wouldn't have bought MLSE unless they thought it could pay for itself (and more).