The Rays' payroll this season was $76.9 million, compared to $61.9 million in 2013.
"It's clearly going to be lower," Sternberg said. "This year was an enormous aberration. Look, having said that, if the greatest thing since sliced bread shows up, and it costs us money, anything is possible. We never say no to anything, but the default is clearly going to be lower."
Tampa entered Thursday at 70-76 in fourth place in the AL East, and has the lowest attendance in baseball this season, averaging 17,627 fans per game.
- Dan Gartland