Payroll Shmayroll, The Dodgers Aren’t Signing Bryce Harper…..Sorry

The hot stove portion of the winter is well underway folks. Once again we’re hearing all kinds of rumors of the Dodgers being in on certain free agents and as usual nothing ever comes to fruition. The most hilarious connections are the links to Bryce Harper. There are still people, fans experts, and media members alike that still think the Dodgers are going to sign Bryce Harper. It’s so comical I have to laugh at it. If you really believe the Dodgers are going to sign Harper than you probably haven’t been paying attention to the Dodgers over the last four years or so.

MLBtraderumors has an interesting piece up about the Dodgers and their payroll. The Dodgers used to be big spenders in the free agent market until Andrew Friedman and his merry men of penny pinchers rode into town. Hey it’s cool, I’m not complaining too much here. After all the Dodgers have won consecutive National League pennants with this system, so obviously something works. But it’s still funny to me when people haven’t figured it out by now. Since Friedman took over the Dodgers have not given a free agent contract or extension deal over 48 million dollars to anyone, save for Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen. Those guys were already in Los Angeles.

No the Dodgers are not going to sign Bryce Harper. They’re probably not even going to sign a DJ LeMahieu or an Adam Ottavino, and those guys come relatively cheap. Friedman and his crew who are now without Farhan Zaidi do not participate in free agency. These are guys from small market towns that ran small market teams. They’re not used to running big market clubs with hundreds of millions of dollars available.

The Dodgers don’t need Harper, they just need to plug a couple of holes on the position player side. As I said earlier, the pitching staff looks strong and promising for 2019. The position player side has two glaring holes, three actually if you count the lack of a top of the order lead-off guy. Second base and catcher need to be addressed immediately. The Dodgers also need a hitting coach, oh and also a new general manager. Eventually Friedman will get around to it at some point when he gets off the golf course.

The Dodgers did extend Clayton Kershaw to a three-year 93-million dollar contract. They resigned David Freese, and then offered qualifying offers to Hyun-jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal. Ryu accepted, while Grandal declined. Ryu will pitch next season for the Dodgers on a 17.9 million dollar deal. Grandal is an unrestricted free agent. If he signs with another club, the Dodgers will receive a compensatory draft pick. Otherwise that’s all the Dodgers have done so far.

For the record I would like to see the club pick up another impact bat. Someone like an AJ Pollack would probably do just fine. Although Pollack does come with some risk. He gets hurt a lot. Then again he would fit right in with the rest of the walking wounded on the Dodger roster.

The Dodgers have money to spend though. This is the Dodgers here, one of the richest franchises in baseball. If the Dodgers want a player, they’ll get him believe that. Let’s just stop fooling ourselves here. The Dodgers are not signing Bryce Harper. So let’s stop believing the nonsense.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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12 thoughts on “Payroll Shmayroll, The Dodgers Aren’t Signing Bryce Harper…..Sorry

  1. Scott
    Don’t you believe there is an outside chance that the Dodgers would trade for Giancarlo Stanton? If the Yankees would trade him, they (the Yankees) might get Harper. Maybe we give them Kemp and some prospects and most of Kemp’s contract, giving the Dodgers a little room under the cap. What do you think?

    1. Not a chance Pack, sorry. These guys just don’t operate this way. There’s no way they take on the rest of a 300 million dollar contract. Now if Stanton were a light hitting utility player, or a pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery making the MLB minimum salary, then maybe. Joking aside, I don’t see them taking on all that salary and there isn’t an obvious fit for Stanton on the roster considering he’s primarily a right fielder who can’t play any other positions. It would involve clearing a ton of salary space, moving Puig to left or center, moving Bellinger to left or back to first base. Possibly moving Muncy, finding someone to take Kemp’s salary as you suggested and maybe even moving Joc. It would be doable but I just don’t see them doing this. Would love to have Stanton without doubt, but this would go against the front office’s MO.

    2. Package, that is not happening. Stanton’s contract is still huge. And why would they want Kemp? They are loaded in the outfield and they even brought Gardner back. These are the outfielders currently on the Yankee roster, Ellsbury, Frazier, Hicks, Gardner, Stanton and Judge. Now they are more likely to get rid of Ellsbury or maybe Frazier than trade Stanton. The reason is simple, Hicks gives them speed, Gardner is very good defensively, and they can rotate Stanton and Judge in the DH spot. The Dodgers best chance to have Stanton was last offseason. He really wanted to be traded to LA. Here is another thing. The Dodgers may have a lot of money, BUT, their salary’s as they sit right now are close to 180 million, and the tax starts at 197 I think. They still have to deal with arbitration eligible players and what few free agents they might go after. So far the only signing is Kevin Quackenbush to a minor league deal. I am thinking they are going to let Muncy, Taylor and Hernandez fight it out for the 2nd base job, and if the sign anyone or trade for anyone, it will be a catcher. Scott mentioned a lead off hitter. If, and only if, Taylor gets out of that all or nothing mode, learns to shorten his swing, and make contact, I would consider him for that role. That being said, Hernandez actually did pretty well in that role the few times they used him. Or they could go completely of the grid and give Verdugo the LF job and the leadoff role. He is a Brett Butler type hitter anyway. The will not sign 1 single big ticket free agent. Bank on it. Hell, they might bring Dozier back on a 1 year deal. He is great defensively, has power, and if he is over his leg injury, he would be Friedman’s kind of signing.

      1. Michael
        Sorry, I forgot the the FAZ MO. You are correct, they never get anyone who is worth anything. They try the old lottery moves. Buy some tickets and hope you hit. I would like Kike to go and Joc but then we would get some that are worse. Can’t win I guess.

  2. Chiming in on the Stanton possibility. I posted when the deal went to NYY that there was a wink wink nod nod deal between Cashman the LAD for Stanton to end up with LAD this spring.
    Knowing that NYY would go big on Harper. Because Harper wants to be in NY not LA. The deal can be worked out. AC who I respect tremendously but he posts only on the other site wrote about it yesterday. It can be done and I think it will be done. Somehow

    1. No way. Stanton is owed way too much money. And there is still a lot of time on his contract, and if they went after Stanton, he is a right fielder exclusively. That does not work in Friedman’s scheme of things. And all the rumors I have seen have the Yankees targeting pitching and possibly Manny Machado. Besides, who would they want from the Dodgers besides prospects. They are not going to want Puig, so no deal can be made unless he is moved since Stanton plays that position, Kemp>? No way, they are overloaded with outfielders. You going to trade young cheap talent for a guy with that big a contract? And you know the Yankees are not going to eat any of that money. As much as signing Harper, it makes no sense for the Dodgers to trade for him. Is he guaranteeing you a World Series title? The guy is 29 years old with 9 more years on that contract plus an option year. I think you are dreaming…..

      1. Michael
        I know you think the there is no way Stanton goes to L.A. but the Dodgers and Yanks have traded Tim Locosta for Drew Finley which means they are talking. I tell ya, it makes sense to trade Stanton for Kemp and prospects. WIthout Kemp, Stanton fits the payroll and is probably way cheaper than others who they could get. They would have to get the Yanks to take a large part of Kemp’s salary this year only to make it fit but I think Stanton gets about 24 mil per year and Kemp 21.5 mil. The Yanks then go after Harper who wants to play in N.Y. and Stanton goes to L.A. where he wants to play. He can play left field and Joc can ride the pine. Puig in right and Bellinger in Center. I know you can’t see it and I also know the rule where FAZ never gets anybody but I think It can be done. Besides I would like to dream a little OK?

        1. That’s a pipe dream Package. The Yankees don’t want Kemp anymore than Friedman does. And a minor deal like Locastro does not mean they are talking. It was basically a swap of a player who was removed from the roster and DFA’d. He is AAA depth for the Yankees and nothing more. Like I said earlier, the Yanks are loaded with outfielders. Most reports have them targeting Machado, not Harper. Reason, their SS is out with an injury and not expected back for most of next year. And the Dodgers do not need Stanton. He is a right fielder period. So, they would either have to trade Puig or move him to left or center. Stanton has 9 YEARS left on his deal. He is 30 years old. And in no way does he fill any of the holes that the Dodgers currently have, 2nd base and catcher and the bullpen. That is the reason that they are talking to the Indians about Yan Gomes, and Carrasco and Kluber. That story is all over twitter. There is no chatter what so ever about Machado, Harper, or Stanton and the Dodgers. Cleveland needs outfielders and the general consensus is that the Dodgers would be willing to trade either Puig, Pederson or Verdugo, along with a catching prospect, say Conner Wong, and a lower tier pitching prospect or 2 for Gomes and one of those Cleveland starters which makes a hell of a lot more sense than trading for Stanton. Because with Carrasco, or Kluber on the team, it opens up the possibility of trading one or even 2 of the 8 starters currently on the roster for bullpen help. You can keep on dreaming there buddy, but I do not think this is even on the table. And Friedman has never added a quality player who makes the kind of money Stanton makes, and 4 years down the road you are stuck paying 30 mil a year to a guy who will most likely have deteriorating skills and you pay that for 4 more years after that. His contract is a huge albatross to overcome. Plus, do you really think that the Guggenheim group would sign off on that contract? Sorry to burst that bubble. And here is the other thing, you get Stanton, does that make you a World Series favorite with what they have behind him right now? NOPE.

  3. Bryce Harper is no Mantle. I agree with Scott about the main priorities. The Yankees tried to get Segura from Seattle and now the Padres are trying to make a deal. He’d be a big upgrade for the Dodgers at second and insurance in case Seager isn’t ready, but of course the front office will twiddle their thumbs until someone snaps him up.

    1. You are so right and neither he nor Stanton guarantee the Dodgers winning the ring. Filling the holes and retooling the pen are the top priority. Report today says the Dodgers are in talks with the Indians about Gomes, Kluber and Carrasco. They are also said to be in on Realmuto, which with what the Marlins want back seems to be unattainable.

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