Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hurting all over.

The common theme popping up in all speculation about the Dodgers' moves during hot stove season is the question of financial flexibility. Given the looming spectre of the McCourt divorce and the uncertainty as to who will own the club when the dust settles, concerns over the Dodgers' spending are warranted. The divorce is certainly relevant to the team's offseason plans, and discussion of the litigation is appropriate.*

*It better be. What good am I if it's not?

I think Dodger fans should be very aware, though, that the Dodgers aren't alone in their penury this winter. The Giants are looking at the "second tier" of the free agent crop. The Rockies are working with "limited resources." The Diamondbacks, while planning to add payroll, "don't have an enormous war chest." And the Padres expect to take a few years to get their payroll back above $70 million; they're not going to invest in premium pieces this winter.

To say that baseball has financial issues this offseason isn't beating a dead horse, it's stirring glue. And so while the McCourt divorce might force the Dodgers to operate a little leaner this winter, is it possible that might be a blessing? We know how bad, generally, the deals for top-shelf free agents turn out. How's a 37-year-old John Lackey making $17 million sound to you? And those deals just cost money. A deal for Halladay would cost money and talent--there's a heck of an argument to be made that even Billingsley for Halladay straight-up would be a disastrous move.

So amid all the doom and gloom, remember that the divorce might just keep the Dodgers from shooting themselves in the foot by overspending on a pretty weak free agent class. And, in the aggregate, consider that every team out there has its own albatross. Granted, dbacks50millionofdeferredsalary.net and giantsowe40milliontoZitoRowandandRenteria_in2010_.com probably aren't as compelling as this little corner of the internet. But as they relate to offseason spending, those issues are every bit as relevant.


  1. Oh wonderful. So the rest of the NL West will also suck, we'll win first place in the NL West, and again, kicked out before even reaching the World Series!

    This isn't San Francisco. Nobody cares about reaching the playoffs. Settling for the division crown is loser talk. This is the second largest market in the country. We want a god damn championship. The obstacles against this are 1) Jamie's Little League fields and 2) Frank's cheapassery. Send both of those idiots back to Boston, and tar and feather Selig while we're at it.

  2. poesgrave,

    Jamie's tone-deaf in terms of speaking to the fan base, but no one's spending anything on little league fields at the moment, maybe sadly. Certainly the stadium improvements are deferred/cancelled.

    And I don't think it's that Frank's a cheap-ass, I think it's that Frank has serious cash flow issues. What other business does he have actively going at the moment, aside from the Dodgers? And we know he and Jamie have been basically living off equity in the ballclub ever since they came to LA.

    The team needs new ownership with deeper pockets, but sadly, it might take awhile. Meantime, it is comforting to know we're not the San Diego Padres.

    As for Bud Selig, I'll buy the feathers.

    Have a great holiday, one and all.

  3. Thanks for the great blog (though could you maybe tweak the RSS feed to full RSS feeds rather than the current truncated form that comes through?)

    Also, HT to Dodgers Thoughts to this article in tomorrow's Journal about the McCourts: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125911524733063419.html


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