Stan Kasten Denies Dodger Debt

Stan Kasten

Is anyone surprised that the Dodgers are in massive debt? I know Mark has been decrying over the “trade” hamstringing the Dodgers financially for years. However it’s not just the trade that has done that, its wild ineffective spending that predates the Andrew Friedman era. Stan Kasten, Ned Colletti, and the Guggenheim people have thrown money around like a rapper in a hip-hop video for years and it seems it has finally caught up to the Dodgers.

There is only so much debt that any MLB team can accumulate. The Dodgers are in danger of surpassing MLB regulations. They are apparently already in the red zone. So Payroll has to come down, and I don’t see how that is going to happen without the product on the field suffering, despite the Dodger’s talented and deep farm system.

Bloated salaries to guys like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Brandon McCarthy, Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and many other Dodger players have finally begun to hemorrhage the Dodger’s bank roll. Now MLB has had enough. Of course Stan Kasten recently denied the allegations of debt. Kasten went on to state…..

“There is no mandate,” he said. “There is no problem with our debt and we continue to work on the same program we have been working on from the day we walked in here in 2012.” More broadly, Kasten emphasized, “business for the Dodgers is very strong and very healthy.”

Apparently there is no league mandate for the Dodgers to cut payroll. This is according to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

The Dodgers have had the highest payroll in baseball over the last few seasons. No team not even the Dodgers have unlimited resources. Even the Dodgers have a limit on payroll and player salaries. Now the Dodgers must figure out a way to trim the fat while retaining their talent (Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner), and remaining competitive while developing the farm system. The farm has the talent to get us through this, but those players take time to develop. If the Dodgers are unable to keep their star third baseman and super closer there is not much hope they can win a World Series let alone continue to make the postseason.

Can the Dodgers do the improbable? Can Andrew Friedman and the brain trust compete with a lower payroll and without their core players?

I know this; no team can win with marginal players like Kike Hernandez playing full time. What do you guys think?

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

42 thoughts on “Stan Kasten Denies Dodger Debt

  1. At some point, the team needs to cut the aging vets and move to get younger. I am pretty confident that payroll will come down to at least $215 Million this year… maybe lower. That would dramatically cut the luxury tax.

    At the rate things are going in the CBA, there may be no winter meetings and maybe a lockout… barring a last minute agreement. The Hot Stove isn’t so hot! I could see all three Dodger free agents walking.

    I don’t count myself as a PuigManiac but I am intrigued by his move to 3B. Would they even try that? You can’t argue with his talent… just the knuckleheadedry. Maybe he will grow up.

    Trade Gonzo and save $10 million a year (we would have to pay half his salary). Get Prospects

    Trade Kaz and McCarthy if possible. Get prospects and may save a few million.

    1B – Bellinger, Ruf, Van Slyke
    2B – Kike, Johnson, Barnes
    SS – Seager
    3B – Puig
    LF – Toles
    CF – Pederson
    RF – Ethier/Thompson
    C – Grandal

    Rotation:

    Kershaw
    Urias
    Maeda
    Ryu
    Buehler
    De Leon – Rookie of the Year in 2017?
    Stewart

    Assuming the draft pick compensation stays THIS year, FAZ accumulates two more picks.

    Roll the dice. Sometimes players grow into their roles…

    1. I wouldn’t try Puig, his value is as an outfielder or as a trade piece. If they don’t sign Turner, then I would rather bite the bullet and sign someone like Trevor Plouffe.

      If it’s possible to package Puig with a few other pieces (including Van Slyke) and throw in McCarthy you might get a half way decent return.

      I also keep Gonzo for one more year. The contract sucks, but he has value as a player and as a leader on the team. Plus he puts butts in the seats.

      Not sure we can count on Ryu or Buehler for next year, though I’m very intrigued by Buehler’s upside.

      I also expect a better year out of Kike. Last year he was dealing with his father having cancer and no matter how good you are that’s going to have an effect on your performance.

      That all being said, I still enjoy the hot stove season as it keeps my mind occupied with simple and relatively meaningless things, while I deal with the day to day stress of my job and life.

    2. Finally Mark, the gap closes between our fantasy teams. Add Calhoun to the mix at second and Put Thompson in LF and Toles in RF and that could be our in-house team that assumes no trades or signings.

  2. I still say keep AGon unless he wants to go somewhere else.

    Trade Kaz and McCarthy for prospects? You’re joking, right?

    Some of us were selling the “get younger” theme last year only to get oushouted by those who felt otherwise. I’m still for it. Can we undo the several “got older” moves made by our resident geniuses? Sure would like Montas, Cotton and Holmes back in the stable.

    That said, with the exception of grouping AGon in the hemorrhage clause (14 WAR and a team leader since his arrival) I agree with the general premise of Scott’s post. There is no mandate, the Dodgers are bathed in legal tender gravy, and will be until the apocalypse. Time to turn the page on 4 straight West Titles and subsequent playoff hairballs. What’s next?

        1. I hear ya Scott! So would I, as a matter of fact I would give the team that takes them a box of new bats just to enhance the deal!

      1. There was a team interested in CJ Wilson to maybe McCarthy and Kazmir for Wilson and then Wilson to that third team gets a minor leager and resultant payroll relief.

  3. OK, enough with ” The Trade”. It did what it was supposed to do and made the Dodgers relevant again after the McCourt disaster. As far as the bloated salaries these players have, they were the right choice at the time. Ethier was a knee jerk move because they were scared stiff he was going to walk so they signed him to a dumb deal. Had they not, he might have ended up in Az. Kemp was pretty much the same thing, but he earned his money up until the injury. Now, do they need to get the payroll down>? Absolutely, but they also need to stay competitive until the kids are ready. If they were to trade A-Gone as Mark and some others have suggested, who picks up those 90 RBI’s and that steady production? I think Bellinger has a ton of potential, I also think he is not ready yet. He has less than 1 full season in AAA. As far as Ethier goes, he goes no where unless he approves it. At this point they need Turner back. They have no obvious replacement. As for a lockout, well, I think they are too smart to let that happen again. They do that and the fans will really be pissed. Puig to 3rd? Ridiculous. I remember they tried that with Pedro Guerrero and it was a total cluster, well you know what I mean. Besides, with that cannon of an arm, someone in the infield would get killed. McCarthy, Kazmir are pretty much untradeable unless the Dodgers EAT a lot of cash. That being said, if they decide to eat the money, let the kids play.

    1. We’ll said Michael.

      Stay competitive in ’17? What would that take? Seriously, looking at our roster, as it is currently constructed, how do we compete with the better teams in the NL, of which there are a few, and a few more not trying to dance around a payroll issue, real or imagined, that look to improve.

      Hey, I still say we got lucky the giants collapsed, that probably won’t happen again…. probably….. and they surprised the hell out of me beating the Nationals. We have a good core group, but there are no replacements for Turner and Jansen, and though I’m fine with inserting both Urias and De Leon in that crystalline rotation, I don’t look for them to pull the wagon into mid October.

      I think there is a lot of work to do on this roster to cut costs and at the same time be better than the other two Division winners. Where to start? Beats me. Though some make claim I’m a world class thinker, thank you CatBox7, I don’t know how to cut payroll and win 96 games. I’m just going to watch and offer criticism.

      1. I agree a lot with what Badger and Mike Norris said. Puig at third? Get real! The first base fans would get a lot of free baseballs from overthrows! Timmons has hated that Trade forever and why? It was all in the Dodgers direction. Loney may hang on for another season. Maybe. The rest were sawdust. They got more than they expected out of Crawford though not much. And Becket gave them a great half season until he finally broke down. And everyone said it was the Nick Punto trade after his performance that year! The trade was for Gonzalez and they got everything in a consistent, stable first base and they should let him play out his contract here, unless they give up on the season. And if they don’t re-sign Turner they may have to. They have a few more options for Jansen but he’s needed, too. Puig at third? Ha! No make that Ha! Ha!

    2. ….”Puig to 3rd? Ridiculous. I remember they tried that with Pedro Guerrero and it was a total cluster, well you know what I mean.”

      That sounds like the textbook example of limited thinking that goes like this–We tried that before and it didn’t work.

      Puig has the physical skill set to play plus defense at third. He would like it. The Dodgers have too many outfielders and zero third basemen. That scenario is ripe for experimentation.

      1. Maybe so Fred. But it is still a valid opinion in my estimation. You want to put the guy who everybody calls a total head case at one of the toughest positions in the game, go ahead. My thinking is not limited and everyone is assuming he would like it. Nobody knows of course until it is attempted. They have tried a lot of position moves on players in the past. Some worked, some not so much. Best examples of a great move, Garvey to 1st, Gordon to 2nd, Lopes to 2nd, Russell to SS. But not everybody has that mind set. Maybe Yasiel becomes the next Mike Schmidt, or maybe he becomes someone else. I prefer a guy who has a lot of experience at that particular position. They want to experiment, fine, that is their choice.

    3. Gonzales should hit no higher than 5th next year. Who can replace the production that Gonzales might provide in 2017? Joc Pederson. Bellinger only has to replace Pederson’s 2016 production out of the #8 spot in the lineup. The good news is that last years #8 position was filled with Pederson and a smattering of .6 OPS righty bats whereas Bellinger would share first with more potent bats such as Ruh, SVS, Sedegen, that combined would easily compensate for Joc’s loss from the #8 spot.

      1. Who is Ruh? You mean Ruf? I doubt he is a real option. He is roster filler at best and a real good candidate to be non tendered. SVS has never really been healthy long enough to see what he is really capable of, and at a little over 1 million bucks, getting too expensive for the FO. He and Ruf will be non tendered……just watch…..

  4. Dodgers have signed 2 pitchers and an outfielder to minor league deals. One of the pitchers came out of the Mexican league and is 35 years old………..brilliant move getting younger by our vaunted FO. The other pitcher and OF were in the Red Sox organization at one time and the pitcher had a cup o coffee and a plus 6 ERA with the Braves last year………..the attraction for LA? The kids heater hits 95 plus.

  5. Has anyone put Puig on the mound under the gun? He could be the new closer…just call him in from right field. Clearly, he has the heat, and amazing accuracy. And the mound experience might teach how to hit better too.

  6. Timmonspedia: “knuckleheadedry”. I love it. “Maybe he will grow up.” We’re all still waiting. It got him to AAA ball last year. On spending: I expect things to remain the same. More or less. The luxury tax penalty for the team is so high that even a knucklehead would not be happy about paying it. So spending will gradually come down, and the penalty will have had its effect. I think that tax is part of the CBA presently in effect, and my guess is that it will continue. Maybe the next agreement will a special dodgers tax to prevent the stupid spending that forms a lot of the team’s deficit spending. The Cuban spending itself must have exceeded 100 mil, with almost no results. A total waste. The suits should have been fired for that BS. It does not appear that the Turner sweepstakes is getting that hot. I hear the Angels. More than his skill, I like Turner’s demeanor, which may be hard to replace. Still, I think if the price is too high, let him walk. Not so for Jansen. The Brewers just signed a former big leaguer out of Korea. Does that mean Braun is on the market?

    1. The clubhouse changed when Kent, Bowa, Lowe left and changed again when Kemp and Gordon left but in a different way than what could be with AJ, Turner, Gonzales gone and Puig still there.

      If the team goes young Puig could excel. He did great with younger guys in Oklahoma last year. On the other hand, it might be best if Puig were gone when and if Turner and Gonzales leave especially with AJ gone already. Kershaw would have his hands full. Roberts would be more Dad than Doc. And if Kershaw were also traded, that really would be a young clubhouse.

      1. The clubhouse wasn’t good when Kent and Bowa were there. The kids at the time were treated poorly by Kent and L.Gonzalez. There was a huge division between old guys finishing out their careers and the up and coming guys like Ethier, Kemp, and Loney.

  7. Just because Guerrero failed at 3B doesn’t mean Puig would. Guerrero was never a good fielder anywhere and he had an average arm. If you want to compare an outfielder who moved to 3B, try Mike “The Cannon” Shannon. They called him The Cannon for obvious reasons and moved him to 3B at age 26. He did have his share of errors at the hot corner, but did I mention, he had a cannon? He finished his career at 3B.

    Puig would scare the hell out of batters as a closer. I like it!

    1. Puig might come up with an off speed pitch before Baez does. Although Baez’ off speed pitch is now the 30 seconds between fastballs.

    1. Field grounders? He has a cannon! What does he need to field grounders fo…….

      Oh, yeah, that. Maybe he can stick his face in front of it, stop the ball with the knuckle part of his head, then pick it up …. and use his cannon!

    1. Hello Michael, it’s Paul and perhaps dodgers will end up keeping Puig, and I just read where Cespedes re-signed with the Mets at 4 years and $ 110 million. It’s not to say that once Winter meetings get under way assuming a new CBA in place, that they won’t consider seeing what he might bring back in return. whatever the case, the best improve against LHP or we will be seeing the same scenario we saw against them in 2016.

      1. I hope so, but the FO still needs to address the problem with LHP. And they like Braun. But like everyone on here pretty much knows, anything is possible with this FO, and no doubt we will all be there with mouth’s wide open when they announce their first big move…..

  8. Scott, it’s Paul , and to this question:

    “I know this; no team can win with marginal players like Kike Hernandez playing full time. What do you guys think?”
    You are correct in every way! Kike IMHO played his way off the MLB roster and unless Dodgers got totally handcuffed and desperate, No way would Kike be granted full time status!

  9. Kike hit .307 in 2015. He had surgery after the season and his father battled cancer during the season… and won!

    Let’s throw the baby out with the bathwater? Kike bashers may be right… or not.

    You keep him because you would be selling low… and one bad season does not make a career.

    The San Diego Padres once had a player who hit .211 at age 24 (same age as Kike) and they ended up trading him (maybe because some dumbass fans thought he had played his way off of the Padres). After the trade, he ended up being second in MVP voting and he hit .303! You can see him in the Hall Of Fame. His name is Ozzie Smith!

    I’m not saying that Kike is Ozzie Smith, but some of you guys need to get a grip. Javier Baez hit .169 in his first season. Jackie Bradley hit below .200 for two years. COME ON! Writing off Kike is just plain stupid! The dude has talent. Quit trying to be talent evaluators because you aren’t! Jeeeezzzz!

    1. That was 2015, Mark! Today is today. If he can play himself back onto the team, I’m down with the sick father issue. But, hey, this is baseball.

    2. Took Ozzie a lot of years to get that good. It was 5 years after the trade before he hit 300..he hit in the 240’s the first 1 in StL and in the 270’s the next 2.

    3. With the depth in the farm they can replace Kiki, but I would not mind if they kept him as a bench player if need be BUT NOT as a starting player at any position, especially trying to replace Turner at 3rd with him.. I say give some others an opportunity too.

  10. If Cespedes gets 4 years @$110 million, that’s the market for Turner too.

    Unless he wants to take a lot less he ain’t coming back!

    Even Ray Charles can see that!

  11. I agree with you about Kiké. Give him a job or cut him loose.

    Turner and Cespedes? I think I’d rather have Turner and if he gets anywhere near a $100 million offer he’s gone. His knee, 32, his best years likely behind him….. I was hoping a Zobrist like 4 years and $60 million would entice him to stay home. But, it who knows what teams are willing to offer. The money is growing on trees and falling like leaves in MLB.

  12. You are no chump if you can hit .307 in a season.

    This game is played by humans not machines.

    Shit happens and people recover… some don’t!

    I think Kike recovers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)