Chicago Cubs chairman issued a letterto season ticket holders today addressing the the Cubs 2010 season and future. Ricketts said in the letter that ticket prices will remain “flat” in 2011, meaning being the same average price as tickets were in 2010. However, he did introduce a new Marquee Tier which is features games against the Cardinals, White Sox, and Yankees will increase 8-15% including tax.
The biggest news to come out of Tom Rickett’s letter, is that he actually intends to spend the same on the overall baseball budget. The Major League budget is expected to decrease, because Ricketts plans to shift some of those resources to be able to spend more on scouting and player development.
"Given that we had the highest payroll in the NL in 2010, I get a lot of questions about our payroll commitment for 2011. As I said earlier, we are still working on our 2011 baseball plan, so it is hard to be too specific at this time. What I can tell you is that our overall baseball budget (scouting, player development and payroll) will be about the same in 2011 as it was in 2010. Continued long term success will come through superior scouting and player development, and we are committed to improving that facet of the organization. As a result, this likely means a shift of some of our resources from the major league payroll toward scouting and player development, but we are still very much in the evaluation phase. Chicago Sports"
The way the future of Major League Baseball is shaping up to be, that is essentially what you have to do, if you want be a contending team. For example, look at this year’s playoff teams; The Rays, Twins, Reds, Rangers (With the exception of Cliff Lee), and Giants are all teams that have had success this season through use of their own farm system.
Over recent years the Cubs farm system has shown that transition that Ricketts wants to achieve.The Chicago Cubs have promising prospects in their farm system that include outfielder Brett Jackson, Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, as well as pitchers Chris Archer, and Jay Jackson. Starlin Castro, and Andrew Cashner are only the beginning of what should be a very bright youth movement over the next few years for the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs may add to that list, as they have been scoutingfree agent first round Pick Barret Loux.
I have to admit, when I first heard that the Chicago Cubs payroll was going to decrease, I was skeptical of that decision. As some of the avid readers have pointed out, a big market team needs to spend money in order for the seats to be filled. However, I am pleased that by decreasing our major league budget, we will be improving the future of this team through scouting and player development.