The La Times had an interesting article about the Dodgers spending habits and the luxury tax. After seeing how Andrew Friedman operates over the last four years we can make a judgment on how he runs one of the largest market and richest baseball clubs in the world. The Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the clubs that leads the majors in payroll has nearly a 200 million dollar payroll. However the team clearly refuses to compete for any of the top free agents on the market despite the inaccurate media reports.
So the question has always been how this decision to not add any high market free agents to the roster was made. For the record the Dodgers have yet to sign any free agent for more than 60 million dollars since Friedman and his cheapskates rode into Los Angeles. The LA Times article shed some light on this. Is Friedman just cheap? Is he small market minded? Or did the decision come straight from Mark Walter? We now have our answer.
The decision did not come from Walter. Nope, Friedman is just cheap folks. He’s small market minded. He just can’t resist the urge to not spend money on some of the best players in the game. I’m not saying the Dodgers don’t spend on quality areas such as scouting and development, analytics, and international players. They certainly do. However the Dodgers spending on a player such as Bryce Harper, or Dallas Keuchel, players who could potentially put the Dodgers over the hump from very good National League pennant winners, and World Series losers, to super club and World Series champions will never happen under Friedman’s watchful penny pinching eyes.
The Dodgers did make moves this winter. They did sign Clayton Kershaw to a 93 million dollar extension. They did sign outfielder A.J. Pollock to a 55 million dollar deal, and they did trade Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood, and Kyle Farmer to the Reds for a handful of magic beans. They have payroll flexibility! Yet the perceived notion was that all of that was in order to make a run at Bryce Harper. But that’s not going to happen. Harper seems to be on the verge of signing with the Phillies.
The Dodgers are just cheap folks. There was no mandate from Walter. There are no hidden conspiracies. There’s no one hamstringing Friedman’s spending abilities. There are no white horses at the Dodger’s door. No, Andrew Friedman is just cheap. Honest to goodness, frugal. One of these days maybe someone can use a crowbar to help pry open that wallet. Until then don’t hold your breath.