August 6, 2009

Exec says Indians losing millions

Cleveland Indians President Paul Dolan says the American League baseball team will lose $16 million this season with more losses to follow.

He told reporters following Thursday's 2-1 home win over the Minnesota Twins that the struggling economy has been a factor and precipitated the recent trades of ace southpaw Cliff Lee, a former Cy Young Award winner, all-star catcher Victor Martinez and outfielder Ben Francisco.

The reality is we were suffering financially before we made these deals, Dolan told

He also refuted reports that the Lee and Martinez trades were cash dumps, saying ownership was willing to go with a 2010 projected payroll that included Lee's $9 million option and the $7.2 million option on Martinez.

The magnitude of the financial issue is that if we didn't succeed at a high level next year, it would have had a negative impact on the team for years to come.