The Houston Astros are on pace to lose over 100 games for the third season in a row. They aren’t your average 100 loss team. This team is scrappy, and sure, that will win them some games, but this team is awful. They’re playing much better as of late, and truthfully, they have been much more interesting since the All-Star break. However, this really has nothing to do with on-field play. This has to do with money, and the Astros are making more than any team in MLB History.
Sounds crazy? Well it kind of is. The Astros easily have the lowest payroll in baseball. At the beginning of the year, the Astros’ payroll was a whopping $26 million. Now, after the trade deadline, the Astros’ payroll comes in at $13 million. A lot of that is looked down upon and given as a reason to why the Astros are terrible, but that isn’t the case. No, the Astros didn’t try to lose, but they didn’t necessarily build a winning roster. And they did that so they would have this exact result. They need money. Jim Crane, the Houston Astros owner, took on over $300 million in debt when he bought the team, so he had to make money, and this is the quickest, and safest way. He promised the Astros would get back to winning ways, and they will, but it may take a few years.
The Astros are still actively trying to get a deal done between their Regional Sports Network and major cable providers. A good portion of Houston can’t watch their games, but NBC still has to pay the Astros $80 million which is a ton of money. The only teams that make more money off their RSN are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and the New York Yankees, just to put that in perspective.
Sure, some of this has to do with a $13 million payroll, but that is part of their plan. The Astros have turned the minor league systems around and are now making a major profit so they can build a winning team as quickly as possible. And in case you didn’t know, they need money to do so.