Rogers Communications Inc. would consider a possible sale of the Blue Jays to free up capital for other investments, chief financial officer Tony Staffieri said Tuesday.Staffieri made the announcement at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York. He did not get into the specifics of a potential
Rogers Communications Inc. would consider a possible sale of the Blue Jays to free up capital for other investments, chief financial officer Tony Staffieri said Tuesday.
Staffieri made the announcement at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York. He did not get into the specifics of a potential sale but said that Rogers, a telecommunications company, was focused on revenue growth and better margins for its wireless and cable divisions.
Rogers has been the Blue Jays' majority owner since 2000 and it later took full possession of Rogers Centre, which was built in 1989 under the name SkyDome.
"To be clear, there isn't anything imminent that we are about to announce, but we're certainly looking at the alternatives," Staffieri said.
The Blue Jays' front office is aware of the developments, but made it clear it's business as usual for the baseball operations department. Atkins said that a potential sale would not have any impact on free agents, payroll for 2018 or negotiations for a renovated Spring Training complex in Dunedin, Fla.
"The subtleties and nuances of our ownership [have] only impacted me in a positive way," Atkins said Wednesday afternoon. "I really enjoyed all of our interactions with [CEO] Joe Natale, [deputy chairman] Edward Rogers, Tony Staffieri, they've really helped us be a better organization and that will remain to be the same as far as I'm concerned."
Per club policy, Toronto does not publicly discuss payroll, but the Blue Jays spent approximately $165 million on salaries in 2017, and the number is expected to be similar next year. That could leave the team with upward of $20 million to $25 million to spend this offseason, and by the sounds of it, that money will be there regardless of what Rogers decides to do.
"We have so much freedom and flexibility the way that we do operate and the way that we've articulated our strategy, our resources, our goals, to agents and other teams, nothing has changed on that front," Atkins said.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.