The Nats are probably a revenue sharing net recipient. All teams pay in 31% of their net local revenue into a pool. That pool is then divided evenly between each of the 30 teams. Some teams will receive much more than they paid in, none moreso than the Fish who should get close to $40 million this year (which is based on the 2008 revenues).
The Mets and Yankees get huge breaks on revenue sharing as their shares of the stadium cost is amortized over 8 years (15% a year 2009-2013, 10% 2014-2015, and 5% in 2016). That is going to put a huge dent in the revenue sharing pool. The teams' share of the stadium cost are generally reported in the $1.3 billion range. Fifteen percent, or $195 million, is deducted from their local revenues. Since 31% of local revenues go into the RS pool, $60.45 is removed from the RS pool for each of the next 5 years, and then lesser amounts thereafter.
Additionally, thanks to a weird clause in the CBA, both the Yankees and Mets are enititled to reduce thier local revenues generated at their stadiums by 10%.
Also, Yankee stadium is inexplicably being treated as an operating lease as opposed to a capital lease (lease to own). Therefore, by being treated as an operating lease, the entire rent payment is also excluded from local revenue. They Yankees may actually end up being net revenue sharing recipients this next year (based on the 2009 revenues).
Revenue sharing was a Selig scheme to make his Brewers the most profitable team in baseball. He succeeded. He said he want MLB to be a partnership, and made it so - but with some serious anomalies. It was Revenue
sharing, not profit sharing. So, while Selig did become a partner so far as revenues are concerned, he did not share in the expenses. It is no coincidence that when Selig nominated two teams for contraction that they were the Twins and Expos - they were the biggest abusers of the revenue sharing. By eliminating them, Selig's portion of the pie would be even larger.
The following is an excerpt from one part of a 6-part series on the lunacy of the business of baseball:
The table below ranks the 30 major league clubs from most to least profitable, net of revenue sharing. Baseball Prospectus
Income from 2001 baseball ops
baseball Revenue after revenue
operations Sharing sharing
Milwaukee Brewers $14,385,000 $1,744,000 $16,129,000
Seattle Mariners $34,266,000 ($18,791,000) $15,475,000
New York Yankees $40,859,000 ($26,540,000) $14,319,000
San Francisco Giants $19,000,000 ($6,308,000) $12,892,000
Detroit Tigers $533,000 $5,127,000 $5,660,000
Oakland Athletics ($7,113,000) $10,520,000 $3,407,000
Cincinnati Reds ($11,056,000) $13,404,000 $2,348,000
Minnesota Twins ($18,533,000) $19,089,000 $536,000
Anaheim Angels ($9,569,000) $9,594,000 $25,000
Kansas City Royals ($16,134,000) $15,997,000 ($137,000)
Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,984,000) $1,782,000 ($1,202,000)
Chicago Cubs $4,797,000 ($6,568,000) ($1,771,000)
Baltimore Orioles $1,460,000 ($6,807,000) ($5,347,000)
St. Louis Cardinals $1,869,000 ($8,229,000) ($6,360,000)
Houston Astros ($1,214,000) ($5,185,000) ($6,399,000)
New York Mets $8,292,000 ($15,669,000) ($7,377,000)
San Diego Padres ($16,151,000) $8,668,000 ($7,483,000)
Philadelphia Phillies ($20,865,000) $11,752,000 ($9,113,000)
Florida Marlins ($27,741,000) $18,561,000 ($9,180,000)
Colorado Rockies ($3,415,000) ($6,029,000) ($9,444,000)
Chicago White Sox ($5,687,000) ($4,201,000) ($9,888,000)
Montreal Expos ($38,519,000) $28,517,000 ($10,002,000)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays ($22,843,000) $12,384,000 ($10,459,000)
Cleveland Indians $1,881,000 ($13,254,000) ($11,373,000)
Boston Red Sox $2,712,000 ($16,438,000) ($13,726,000)
Texas Rangers ($15,689,000) ($8,744,000) ($24,433,000)
Atlanta Braves ($14,380,000) ($10,647,000) ($25,007,000)
Arizona Diamondbacks ($32,152,000) ($4,432,000) ($36,584,000)
Toronto Blue Jays ($52,927,000) $9,830,000 ($43,097,000)
Los Angeles Dodgers ($45,343,000) ($9,107,000) ($54,450,000)
Net Operating Loss ($232,241,000)
That's right: in 2001, MLB's most profitable team was none other than Commissioner Bud Selig's own Milwaukee Brewers, who play in the majors' smallest market. Even with a new ballpark, the Brewers' local revenues remained below the industry average, so the Brewers received a revenue-sharing check despite turning a $14 million profit without it.
The Brewers were one of 11 clubs to report an operating profit before revenue sharing. Of the 11, only the Brewers and the Tigers also received revenue sharing money. Four of the other 12 revenue-sharing recipients became profitable as a result of it (the Athletics, Reds, Twins, and Angels), while the remaining eight (the Royals, Pirates, Padres, Phillies, Marlins, Expos, Devil Rays, and Blue Jays) saw their losses reduced.
On the other side of the equation, 13 of the 16 clubs that paid into the revenue-sharing pool wound up in the red. Just three--the Mariners, Yankees, and Giants--earned enough to remain profitable after their revenue-sharing payments. Six other teams (the Cubs, Orioles, Cardinals, Mets, Indians, and Red Sox) saw their operating profits turn into multimillion-dollar losses. Finally, seven clubs (the Astros, Rockies, White Sox, Rangers, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers) suffered the double indignity of having their operating losses compounded by revenue-sharing payments.