Some teams lost money in 2009, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday after the final owners meeting of the year.
“There was no question about that,” Selig said. “I don’t think the concerns have been ameliorated at all. I think the concerns are still there because all these people have their own economists.”
Selig said final figures for this year are still being calculated and everyone is living in the most difficult economic times since the Great Depression. He declined to identify the teams.
“I think of all the heartache that’s in the world,” Selig said. “We live in this environment. We don’t live in a bubble. And so, I think the clubs in some areas have been hit a lot harder than others.”
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Major League Baseball’s average attendance dropped 6.7 percent last season from an average of 32,528 in 2008 to an average of 30,350. Total attendance of 73.4 million was baseball’s fifth-highest.
“Given the economy, the fact that we drew 73.5 million people is a testament to this sport’s popularity and everything that has been done is remarkable,” Selig said.
With the free-agent market set to open today, teams and agents are uncertain whether the economy will impact salaries.
“Revenues as a whole were flat at best and I think there’s still a lot of people, and obviously we’re still focused on our fans, that are still struggling,” Angels owner Arturo Moreno said.
D-Backs acquire reliever
Arizona landed reliever Aaron Heilman from the Chicago Cubs for two minor league prospects.
The 31-year-old right-hander was 4-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 70 appearances last season, striking out 65 and walking 34. He spent six seasons with the New York Mets before he was traded to Seattle last December, then was dealt to the Cubs the next month.
Chicago gets 24-year-old left-hander Scott Maine and 23-year-old infielder Ryne White. Maine, a sixth-round draft pick in 2007, was a combined 4-5 with seven saves and a 2.90 ERA with Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno last season. White, a fourth-round draft pick in 2008, hit .266 with 58 RBI for Single-A Visalia.
The Washington Nationals say No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg has a twisted left knee and is being scratched from his start in the Arizona Fall League championship game. … The Yankees’ Andy Pettitte and the Mets’ Fernando Tatis were the final players to file for free agency this year. … Minor league outfielder Desmond Jennings and pitchers Jeremy Hellickson and Alexander Torres have been added to Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster. The team also reinstated first baseman Carlos Peña from the 60-day disabled list. … Ron Bourquin, a minor leaguer in the Detroit organization, was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a banned amphetamine.