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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MLB: Company that owns Blue Jays wants to control costs

Associated Press

TORONTO The company that owns the Toronto Blue Jays says it needs to control costs.

Rogers Communications remains committed to the Blue Jays, CEO Nadir Mohamed said Tuesday on a conference call discussing the company's quarterly earnings.

The team has put ace Roy Halladay on the trading block.

Rogers bought the Blue Jays in 2000. The company also owns the team's stadium and its flagship radio and television stations, the FAN 590 and Rogers Sportsnet.

"We believe that the financial performance of the Blue Jays can improve," said Tony Viner, president of Rogers Media, the corporate arm responsible for the team, stadium and broadcasting. "In fact, it's the one division of the media company this year, year over year performance is better than it was. We think that we can bring costs reasonably under control and more in line with revenues.

"Our revenues are actually increasing in certain parts of the business so, as you know, the Jays form an important part of our programming schedule on Rogers Sportsnet, which is another division of the company which has done recently well and especially during the recession."

A call to Blue Jays interim CEO Paul Beeston was not immediately returned.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi acknowledged earlier this month he was fielding trade offers for Halladay, the 2003 AL Cy Young winner and AL starting pitcher at this year's All-Star game. Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline is July 31.

Halladay, 11-3 with a 2.62 ERA, is scheduled to start for Toronto on Wednesday night at Seattle.

A 12-year veteran who has never pitched in the postseason, Halladay has a full no-trade clause and is signed through 2010. He will earn $15.75 million dollars next season and has indicated a desire to test the free agent market.

The Blue Jays' 2009 payroll is approximately $80 million.