The annual winter meetings came and went, ending on Thursday afternoon. All 30 MLB clubs were present to make deals and discuss trades as is the customary tradition every year around this time. Each team looks to the winter meetings as a way to upgrade their rosters. The winter meetings are not the end all or be all of the hot stove offseason, but it’s normally where the majority of the transactions during the hot stove take place. It’s just how things are done. The Dodgers spent the winter meetings doing what they normally do, which is nothing. The Dodgers were rumored to be in on almost every player in MLB, and of course all the Dodgers did was twiddle their thumbs. If you guys wondered why I did not write anything about the winter meetings, it’s because I knew that nothing would happen. I’m getting to know the front office’s habits quite well by now.
I agree with everything that James wrote in his latest article. He really summed things up quite well. So far the Dodgers have signed Rich Hill to a 48 million dollar contract, and tendered contracts to 2 utility players, and a horrendous middle reliever. Meanwhile we watch as usual as all of the good players come off the boards. One by one the teams around the Dodgers are making moves, wheeling and dealing, filling holes, acquiring all-star players, and the Dodgers again do nothing.
The Dodgers have two key free agents that they need to resign. Super closer Kenley Jansen, and third baseman Justin Turner are both looking for multi-year contracts in excess of 80 million dollars. Of course I know what you are going to say.
“I wouldn’t give 80 million dollars to a guy who only pitches 70 innings a year”
“ You have to be brain dead to give Kenley that much money”
“The “trade” has hamstrung the team financially for years!”
“I would let Kenley walk, that’s too much money”
“Market inefficiencies…Blah Blah”
“Free agent signings don’t win championships!”
Let’s get one thing straight here. Anytime I hear somebody complain about the Dodger’s payroll it makes me irritated. Some fans are really weird these days. (No not you guys). First of all, it’s not your money. It’s not my money. It’s not our money. The Dodger’s payroll belongs to Guggenheim, a multi-national conglomerate with billions of dollars in assets. That means the Dodgers have billions of dollars despite the recent accusations of massive debt. The richest and largest market club in MLB still has a ton of money and a great farm system to boot. Yet fans still complain about the high payroll as if it’s linked directly to their bank accounts. For the record why do you care if the Dodgers spend 120 million dollars on Kenley Jansen? Is it going to bankrupt you personally? When Kenley signs the contract will your car get repossessed? Will the world stop spinning?
Again, IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY. Sure ticket prices go up, but that’s going to happen anyways. Inflation has something to do with that too, not just the high player salaries. Ticket prices will always go up. That’s the way things work. When do you ever hear about ticket prices going down? Doesn’t work that way.
Of course the Dodgers want to get under the luxury tax to avoid the penalties, but should that stop them from resigning the greatest closer in franchise history? I know 17 million dollars for a closer like Jansen or Aroldis Chapman sounds completely insane, but that’s the way it is now. Star closers are getting huge paydays. Salaries are going up for all players. Ticket prices rise, inflation is happening. The cost of living is going up in our daily lives. Once again, IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY.
So when the Dodgers let’s say offer Jansen a 100 million dollar contract, don’t get upset. These are the same people that cried and screamed for years when Frank McCourt mismanaged the finances and the Dodgers were unable to sign any big free agents. When the Dodger’s payroll was roughly around 80 million dollars in 2011 and McCourt was being run out of town these people now cheer when the Dodger’s bottom line goes up. This makes no sense to me.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have a 25-man roster of all minor league prospects under 25 that all become all-stars, and a low payroll (under 100 million), and low ticket prices, all while Guggenheim is collecting a profit. That seems unlikely to happen. First that all or even half of the prospects pan out, or even become average major league players. And that you can have a low low payroll while contending for a World Series title. Not likely.
I’m not saying the Dodgers should give Jansen 150 million dollars or whatever, I am saying that sooner or later you have to start retaining your players. You can’t just let every player that reaches free agency walk just because…”they’re too expensive”, or free agency doesn’t win titles!”
For the record I would like to see the Dodgers keep Kenley and Turner, but JT is the one player I feel like they truly could not do without. They can find somebody else to close out games. They won’t be anywhere near as talented as Kenley who has a career 13.9 strikeout per nine rate.
Turner is the guy that can’t be replaced. How are the Dodgers going to replace his 27 home runs and 90 runs batted in? How are they going to replace their everyday third baseman and number 3 hitter when there is nobody in the minors that can come up, and the market is super thin for third baseman.
If the Dodgers are going to do anything this winter, the least they can do is resign their top players, I.E. Jansen and Turner. If they do that then perhaps I’ll have a lot more respect for them. Otherwise 2017 is going to be one hell of a painful year. Because if I see Kike Hernandez batting third, and Chris Hatcher closing out games next season I am going to lose it. So while we wait to see whether Kenley signs with the stupid Marlins, or stays in Los Angeles, remember this…..IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY.
So please, stop acting like it is.