From the Forbes piece yesterday, I missed this juicy tidbit of analysis:
It appears as though Liberty Media is preparing to unload the Braves. The tax advantages to Liberty's purchase of the Braves from Time Warner 2007 expire after five years and ownership has slashed player payroll from $102 million to $84 million since 2008 despite higher revenue.
The Braves payroll has fluctuated throughout the last eight years (the Time Warner years), but if three years does make a trend then the team has trimmed payroll by about $8 to $10 million a year. Don't read too much into this, but it was always my understanding that Liberty would sell the Braves once the tax advantages for them expired. That date will be approaching sometime in the next year.
Here is some more insight into the situation from the Denver Business Journal:
Liberty Media has not announced any plans to unload the Atlanta team. But John Malone, Liberty Media chairman and founder, is famous for making use of tax advantages, and he has said Liberty Media doesn't consider the baseball team a strategic asset.
So it's all about strategery.
[UPDATE: 3/24 @ 2pm]
Jeff Schultz reports that Braves CEO Terry McGuirk doesn't know anything about a potential sale.