Take off the Handcuffs!

Common Sense is Uncommon!  Sadly…

When Andrew Friedman was hired by Stan Kasten and Guggenheim it was his mandate to grow the farm and build a winner from within. Kasten said  “Oh, and you have to keep Mattingly for a year.”  The year before, the front office signed Kemp and Ethier to silly contracts and consummated THE TRADE!

OK, I’ll play along… maybe THE TRADE did put “butts in seats.”   I just think they were smarter ways to do that, but some can’t comprehend such a thing.  I’ll cut to the chase – It’s time to quit doing it the hard way and do this the right way.  The Ricketts family hired Theo Epstein in Chi-Town and gave him carte blanche to fix the team.  He blew it up, traded for draft picks and tanked (i.e., more draft picks).  Four years later… magic happened!  Yes it did!

We are two years into Andrew Friedman’s reign, but Kasten has handcuffed him the entire time.  In his Atlanta career, Kasten has been all about being “good,” not “great!” It’s time to erase the mistakes and start with a clean slate.  We have had 4 straight division winners.  We’ve been good… just not great.  It’s time to get great again. What that means is this:

The farm is THERE.  I have never, NEVER seen the Dodger’s farm system this loaded!  But, let’s load it some more. Let’s not worry about 2017. Maybe 75-80 wins, but let’s stockpile more top prospects.  I would start with a conversation with Clayton Kershaw as where he wants to finish his career. Maybe it is in Texas.  Clayton is a good ole’ Texas boy and maybe that is his plan. If it isn’t, I would seek to lock him up for 8 more years at $40 million per. If not, let’s trade him now. While it is easy to ask for Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar, those two are talents who have fizzled in two cups of coffee.  That really means nothing but it does give you pause. Rougned Odor would have to be included. He’s another LH hitter, but he hits lefties just about as well as righties.  I would also want someone the caliber of a Yoan Moncada and a stud pitching prospect like a Lucas Giolito.

Trading Kershaw could net up to six top prospects and would likely have to be a three or four team deal.  I put it in the category of “highly unlikely” but I would explore it, nonetheless.  Adding a Moncada, an Odor and a Giolito would stack the team for 2018 and beyond!  Friedman has kept us competitive while growing the farm and not handing out big contracts.  In times where GM’s pass out $100 million dollar deals like jellybeans, the largest contract FAZ has doled out, despite winning two division titles is $48 million – that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is impressive!  But, it’s time to get serious.

Andre Ethier has very little value right now, but if he starts out well, he could be a trade-deadline piece for a contending team.  Gonzo has more value and a mid-season trade could be just the right timing for Cody Bellinger to step into first base. A-Gon and Ethier could net another 3 or 4 good prospects.

Kazmir and McCarthy would not bring a lot, except salary relief. The Dodgers have not made money since Guggs took over and are reportedly hundreds of millions in debt (no pity needed – they are fine).  They are not going to keep paying the luxury tax and they have to get under the salary cap.  Right now would be a perfect time.

It’s easy and requires no common sense to say “The Dodgers should have signed Greinke, Turner, Jansen, Chapman and traded for Arrenado, Trout and Harper.”  No, common sense should tell you that you want to get those guys before they become those guys. You only get that by hoarding prospects.

I can handle one down season… can you?

statechamps

My son and I basking in the glow of his team winning the State Championship in football on Friday.

Mark Timmons

Mark is the founder of LA Dodger Talk which ran for nearly 15 years. He has been a Dodger fan for over 50 years and was the first blogger to sit in the Dodger Stadium Pressbox.

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This article has 161 Comments

  1. Mark, you can’t have it both ways. Your article is self contradicting. How you ask? You say your first choice is to try to keep Kershaw for $40,000,000 a year for the next 8 years and also say that the Dodgers should trade all the big contracts including Kershaw’s and build with young players and prospects.

    Those choices are too far apart. You have to just pick one and justify it.

  2. First off, great picture, son taking it all in stride. Could Dad’s chest get any further out there? Did you pop any buttons? Congratulations!

    Yeah, the trade set us back, it wasn’t enough even with two ACES!!!. I have said it before, bottom line for me, NO WAY Gonzalez was worth an extra $100M one year after signing with Boston as a free-agent. Agreeing to take Crawford, who was injured (TJ surgery) and we didn’t have a position for, was major stupid!!

    Yes, FAZ has been handcuffed, stuck with the highest MLB payroll in history. Asked to, compete, build a # 1 farm system and cut payroll (Bluto’s article on prior thread is must reading). TALL ORDER!!

    Now to today! Sure trade Either! Unfortunately, FAZ has been trying for years with no luck. Sure trade Gonzalez if you can get something without eating too much salary. If not keep him. Sure trade Kazmir and McCarthy if you think you have some other inning eaters. No matter what we do in 2017, got to stick with the “baby” the young studs, if deemed wise and necessary. I do believe they could easily be traded with Dodgers eating little or no salary. I have said, I believe they could bring Greinke back, but, that would be a textbook “dope fiend” move. Don’t re-sign Jansen and Turner? Got to see the $$$$ before I make that call.

    Kershaw, I know I am not signing him or any other 29 year old pitcher for $320M ($40M x 8 yrs). Sure, listen to offers, but, if I trade him, it’s at the deadline and only if 2017 isn’t going well for Dodgers. That contract even dwarfs Greinke’s. ALBATROSS waiting to happen!!

    I see the FAZ plan of competing EVERY year being reality. No need to “blow it up” in 2017. The farm is producing, we have some young improving studs on the team already and the deadweight high priced contracts are ending soon. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel for the FAZ boys!! Happily, things are bright in Dodgerland. Stay the course!

  3. Kershaw’s contract:

    YEAR AGE BASE SALARY SIGNING BONUS TOTAL SALARY
    2014 26 $4,000,000 $2,571,428 $6,571,428
    2015 27 $30,000,000 $2,571,428 $32,571,428
    2016 28 $32,000,000 $2,571,428 $34,571,428
    2017 29 $33,000,000 $2,571,428 $35,571,428
    2018 30 $33,000,000 $2,571,428 $35,571,428
    2019 31 $32,000,000 $2,571,428 $34,571,428
    2020 32 $33,000,000 $2,571,428 $35,571,428
    2021 Free Agent Year 33
    UFA

    Contract Notes:
    Out Clause after 2018
    Signing Bonus: $18 million
    Cy Young: 1st ($1M), 2/3 ($500,000)
    Trade Bonus: $3M

    Before the Dodgers traded Kershaw I would first offer him a no-trade contract amendment in exchange for him to eliminate his opt-out clause. Call that a loyalty amendment. If he refused, I would trade him.

    The Dodgers need a third baseman and a second baseman and the smart move IMHO would be to fill those positions with young controllable players via a trade for Kershaw. I would then opt for a 6 man rotation for 2017.

    I would hold on to McCarthy and Kazmir until they prove they can be part of a rotation and then trade them. That could be as soon as the end of spring training.

    I would try to package Gonzales with Verdugo and Calhoun and maybe others if the Dodgers could get a young solid controllable righty bat in return.

    1. Both Bum and Boxout are right about Kershaw.

      If anything right now, Kershaw’s worth has went down, not up.

      His back injury, that I do believe is ok, has made Kershaw’s value go down.

      His problem of pitching in the post season, would also make some teams, not to want to invest way to much in Kershaw.

      It is to late to trade these players you want to trade, except McCarthy and Kazmir.

      This off season, and this year, might be the only time we can get rid of these two pitchers, because the pitching market, is at it’s worse right now.

      As much as you want to act like this front office hasn’t added to this payroll in a negative way, the two big contracts they did give out to these two starting pitchers, have been a loss up to now.

      Because these two pitchers, haven’t made any contributions to this team, in a positive way.

      At least Agone, Ethier, and Crawford, did make some positive contributions to this team.

      Although Crawford, didn’t make much contributions, past the first year he played in LA.

      But Agone has produced every year he has been here, and Ethier was the best offensive player on the team, in the second half of the season in 2015.

      And it looked like Ethier was going to make another good contribution last year, before he got hurt in spring training.

      And like I said above, it is to late to do something like this.

      And nothing like that is going to happen, unless the team is way out of the race, by the trade deadline.

      Ethier and Crawford come off the payroll, after this year.

      And Agone comes of after the 2018 season.

      They need to get rid of these two pitchers, and save the money to sign Turner and Kenley or a top closer.

      We can’t wait around and find out if McCarthy and Kazmir will be productive.

      McCarthy’s history tells you, that he can’t be counted on to be a productive pitcher.

      He is usually either out because he is hurt, and if he isn’t hurt, and he is pitching, he isn’t pitching well.

      He did pitch well for one half of a season, and apparently, that is why this front office signed him, unlike the team, he pitched well for, in that half of season.

      And Kazmir has a chronic condition that affects his control, let alone his command, so how well can he pitch, if he doesn’t have any control?

      Turner’s contract won’t hurt this team, if it is the twenty million a year, like most have predicted.

      We would be getting a middle of the order type of hitter, who also plays great defender, and at a fair rate in baseball today.

      Because Turner has his age and his injury history, working against him, as well as the number one pick, he has attached to him.

      And Turner wants to stay and play in his home town of LA, and because all of these reasons, the Dodgers have the best chance of signing Turner.

      They are not going to get under the luxary tax, until after the 2018 season.

      And if Turner does get a four year contract, he will only have two years left at the begining of the 2019 season.

      Even if Turner wasn’t productive in those last two years, which I don’t see happening, he won’t be blocking any young player, because he is pretty flexible.

      And Corey isn’t going to be moved to third, this early in his career.

      Corey is an once in a lifetime type of player, that the Dodgers will build around.

      And along with Turner, they also need to sign Kenley, or another good closer, because the young pitcher, they thought would be our next closer, was traded away, in that trade, at the trade deadline.

      This will be another contract, that won’t be a loss, if Kenley is signed, because Kenley is only 29, and he is the strongest of all of these closers.

      And there is a good history, that shows a closer like Kenley who throws a cutter, can continue to contribute as a closer, for a long time.

  4. Bum,

    This is fantasy baseball. I CAN have it both ways! 😉

    Something tells me that you can take the Texan out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the Texan. Maybe I am wrong… but if we traded Kersh, we could possibly get three superstars, so I guess I am leaning to trading him. The problem is – he is my favorite player!

  5. Shakin’s article in the Times makes it clear that there are multiple reasons for the team’s debt. First, they inherited over $400 MM in debt from the previous owners. Second, they owe $1.2 BB to the insurance companies who allowed Guggenheim to purchase the team. (The article is ambiguous as to whether this is considered “debt” or “investment” which is to be repaid, which sounds like debt to me.)

    The Dodgers have sold more tickets and made more in revenues in ticket sales than any team in baseball. their media contract is probably #2 to the Yankees. They generate income – lots of it. Otherwise, why did the ownership invest $2 BB in the team?

    In my lifetime as a Dodger fan, the Dodger way to build was from a great farm system – no question. But once the farm had produced, they kept the creme! They have never followed the Tampa/Oakland model of growing your own and then dumping them as soon as they become expensive. Instead, they added, where necessary, to fill in the gaps, either by trade and later, by free agency. Wally Moon was a key to the ’59 team and he was acquired from the Cards. Koufax and Drysdale were joined in the rotation by trade acquisition Claude Osteen (Senators). The Infield (Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey) were joined by OF Dusty Baker (trade with Braves) and Reggie Smith (free agent).

    So now – the team generates more revenue than any team in baseball, and some advocate dumping all homegrown talent that costs more than the league minimum. No Clayton Kershaw. Really? The fans who post here are still angry that the Dodgers traded Mike Piazza over contract negotiations and now he’s in the Hall of Fame in a Mets uniform. How about Kershaw in the Hall, the best Dodger player in the past 40 years, wearing a Texas Ranger uni?

    And as for the current crop of free agents, the Dodgers had $48 MM for Scott Kazmir and $48MM for Brandon McCarthy but can’t find the money to resign a homegrown talent like Kenley Jansen, a player who has actually been, you know, good?

    As I have been posting for a while now, are we going to be Tampa/Oakland? When homegrown talent starts to become expensive, let them go. Turn over the roster every 3 – 5 years. Pick one guy and extend him early to a team-friendly contract and trade everyone else for prospects every few years. Be competitive for a year or two out of every 5 while the new crop of prospects grows up?

    No thank you.

    1. That was never the plan here. Those guys were just the bridge to the future. I am sure they will try and lock Seager and Pederson up soon followed by others. The signings of Anderson, McCarthy and Kazmir are a one-time thing… never to be repeated. FAZ has already shown us they want to compete every year… and one only has to look at the payroll to know this ain’t Oakland or Tampa Bay. I don’t even see a similarity.

      1. And Kershaw? What about your proposal to trade him because he’s too expensive and will return 6 prospects? Pure Oakland.

        1. As much as I like Kershaw, in this situation, I would trade him for Six Top Prospects… and when I say 6, I mean like six of the TOP 20.

          It’s not pure Oakland – It’s pure Genius if you can get that many potential stars for 1 player.

          I tend to like John Sickels over BA and here’s his TOP 100 Prospects at the end of last season:

          http://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/9/24/12932956/top-100-prospects-end-of-2016

          If I could get 6 of those top 20, I would do it in a heartbeat – not why Oakland did it – to save money, but to get better in 2018.

          We already have at least 6 Top 100 prospects. Trading Kershaw and the rest would likely double that next year.

          To say it’s like Oakland ignores the amount of money spent spent to keep the team competitive. It’s nothing like Oakland.

          1. All that I know is that like most Dodger fans, I am still upset that players like Adrian Beltre and Mike Piazza didn’t play most of their careers with the Dodgers.

            Trade Kershaw – he will cost $40MM/year when he opts out. Don’t resign Jansen – he’s too expensive. Get inexpensive kids for Kershaw and let Jansen walk – get a – wait for it – draft pick.

            Sounds like Oakland to me.

            In 5 years, they will have locked up Seager (or will try) as their “face of the franchise” player a la Evan Longoria and Eric Chavez. Pederson will be gone. Julio Urias too. But hey, the payroll will be down.

          2. Mark

            Anytime anyone trys to point to the payroll, to show that the front office does spend money, is not any kind of proof, because this payroll amount is very deceiving!

            There are a bunch of players on this payroll, that are not even on this team!

            And you forgot to mention that the front office, is still paying for Olivera’s contract too.

          3. Not sure why it matters that the players are not on the team or not. The organization still has to pay them out of its payroll.

      2. If Dodgers somehow can unload McCarthy, Kazmir, that’s 2 bad deals IMHO off the books. I realize it won’t be easy. And as for Ballet Bret Anderson? His is a FA and won’t be returning, which is a good thing as well. Correct about that one time thing, and if they had to do it over again, my guess is those 2 would not have been signed. Anyway, we first need to get a new CBA in place and then go from there.

  6. Nothing FAZ does will surprise me. I’m not presumptuous enough to say what they should do. I would never want to trade Kershaw since he has been the face of the Dodgers for the last 5 seasons, but, if FAZ wanted to trade him, now would probably be a good time to get maximum back in trade. Do not know what’s in store for the Dodgers or the country… but it’s gonna be interesting times for everything it seems. It’s a curse.

    1. Bluto

      It is the same point that others say that the Dodgers have th biggest contract in baseball, but they are not able to win it all.

      A lot of this payroll isn’t the players on the field.

      So the actual line up and roster, does not cost that much.

      It is pretty obvious, what that means.

    2. MJ,

      It doesn’t make sense, at least to me. They still pay the money. If they pay Pablo Sandoval a lot and bench him for Travis Shaw, your payroll still includes him.

      Not sure if it’s fair to count Olivera though, was he ever on the 40 man roster? I’m unsure. Those not on the 40, shouldn’t count in this discussion (like Alvarez and Diaz) in my silly opinion.

      1. Bluto

        Yes Hector Olivera was on the forty man roster.

        He was a Cuban player, that was older.

        He was only playing minor league ball, to get ready to play at the major league level.

        We paid for all of his bonus, and apparently are still playing some of his contract, even though we traded him to the Braves.

        And the Braves traded him to the Padres, for Matt Kemp.

        And the Padres released him after that.

        It is Major League Baseball, that considers Olivera still on the Dodgers payroll.

  7. Mark, I hope you have taught your son not to stick with his head. I have 5 grandsons and I pray they never play football. That’s just me though.

    1. Yeah, he tackles the right way. He’s never had a concussion although be got his bell rung Friday (he passed the concussion protocols), but never told anyone until after the game. He also got his jersey torn off. He started the game as #6 and ended as #7.

      I would have never encouraged him to play football, but he doesn’t like baseball or basketball – he just loves football. When he was in the 4th grade he said he would win the Heisman Trophy. While I doubt that, I think he can play at the next level very well.

  8. Intriguing Mark. What team did you have in mind that would trade 6 of their top 20 prospects? It would certainly have to be a team who has as much depth as we do.
    How do the mystery teams top 20 compare to ours and which teams could afford CK’s salary? I imagine it would leave out the small market teams.

  9. In Mark’s scenario, the Rangers have all the bargaining power. They don’t have to give up the store to get Kershaw. They won the West without Kershaw and really don’t need another #1 with Hammels. It’s like they are doing the Dodgers a favor to take Kershaw. The Rangers farm system is still as good as the Dodgers and that is after placing a bunch of guys into the big leagues. Frankly, I would rather have a Rangers prospect than a Dodgers prospect. Even now, their scouting and development is better than the Dodgers. Kershaw is not as valuable as you think to another contending team with a star starter at the top of the rotation. By the way, no one has mentioned “injured” yet. Or “back.” Or “disabled list”. In short, the greatest value as a player is for Kershaw to stay put and take the boat load of money the team will probably offer. He would be stupid to go to Texas. I could see Houston as more realistic. Kershaw should be content to stay with the team that drafted and developed him, the team that will be in contention most years, and the team that has a bunch of young pitchers who can complement his talents and to whom he can be a mentor. Oops, I probably said the same thing about Grienke last year.

    1. Bobbie 17

      Your right, like I said above, Kershaw’s value is lower today.

      It is to late to do what Mark wants to do.

      And they are not going to even think like that, unless the team, has a whole season, like the Giants had in the second half.

      And they are not going to get under the luxary tax, until after the 2018 season.

      And in the first year this front office was here, they didn’t reduce the payroll, they actually added to the payroll.

      And that was the highest payroll, that this team has had.

      That is when they signed Anderson and McCarthy, and signed Hector Olivera.

      And that was when they traded Haren, and Gordon.

      Haren wanted to pitch on the west coast, and had better numbers that year then Anderson.

      Why trade Haren, and Gordon, and sign Anderson, if you want to bring the payroll down?

      Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to keep Haren and Gordon, then to sign Anderson, and trade for Howie?

      And signing Olivera to that contract, wasn’t trying to get the payroll down either.

      And Olivera is still getting paid now.

      And when they did both of the trades to the Marlins, and the Braves, they took on other players, that also added to the payroll, but never played for the team.

      They took on Mike Morris’ and that former Red’s pitcher, Bronson A’s money in those trades too.

  10. First, I would not trade Kershaw. I do not think you will get 6 top prospects for Kershaw. Loyalty means something to me. I would trade Agon at the deadline next year, especially if Bellinger is having a good year. Receive 2 good prospects for him. I would keep Ethier next year. If he is playing well, then trade him at the deadline.

    You need to get rid of McCarthy and Kasmir in some way. Take that money to sign Turner for sure and some closer.

    Ethier, Toles, Pederson and Puig in the outfield is find with me. Oh what to do with Puig. If I could get a good right handed bat in return I would trade him. Otherwise, keep him.

    Starting pitchers, Kershaw, Maeda, Urias, DeLeon and and Stewart, Stripling, De Jong, Wood and Beuhler for the fifth starter.

    Second base becomes the problem. Let Calhoun and Johnson fight it out. Keep Utley as a back up. Hit 100 grounders a day to Calhoun and Johnson.

    Bull pen, we have Coleman, Baez, Dayton, Frias, Garcia, Libatore, Ravin, Rhame, Stripling, DeJong, Wood, Stewart, and Beuhler. Also a closer.

    That is my solution. If you believe in the farm kids, then at some point you have to let them play. We are very close to winning a WS.

    1. I doubt you get anything for Gonalez or Ethier. Even if they continue at their current pace.

      Kershaw isn’t being traded. Either are those two. Hill will probably be resigned. De Leon, I don’t think has the stuff for the starting rotation here. The Front Office values missing bats or weak contact.

      I can see DeLeon being packaged up. Not sure with who else, as I think Verdugo and Bellinger have been and will be untouchable.

      1. I have read that Verdugo isn’t all that. He has “filled out” and is no longer a legit CF. He is a corner OF without the power. He is also a lefty bat. He is expendable.

    2. From what I have read neither Johnson nor Calhoun can actually play 2B. It’s still a problem.

      Ethier has “Santo Clause” rights (10/5) and can’t be traded without his consent. If he is getting playing time and is playing well he won’t consent.

      I can see some team taking a flier on Kazmir. But McCarthy? Would you trade for him? If you wouldn’t why would some baseball GM?

      Coleman is arb eligible. He won’t be tendered a contract.

      They still don’t have a right-handed bat, a 3B, a 2B or a closer under your plan even if all of the kids pan out and can pitch. They also don’t have a #2 starter to match with Cueto, Arrieta, Strasburg, et al.

      1. Wondering

        You are right about next year being Ethier last year, but he still has to give the ok to be traded then.

        But that is just one of the reasons, that it is to late to do what Mark wants to do.

        1. I’m not one of Mark’s Posse members but he has as much right as any of the rest of us to post what he would like to do. Doesn’t matter, FAZ doesn’t listen to any of us anyway…

          1. Wondering

            I know.

            I like a lot of different opinions.

            I wouldn’t have it any different!

            I was just taking the other side of Mark’s argument or plan.

            Because I just think we just need to let it go, because it is only another two years.

            And I don’t think you let a player like Turner go, when we won’t get under the luxary tax, until after 2018.

            And I still maintain Turner will a bargain, by today’s standards.

            The same thing about getting a closer.

  11. 1. I think Kershaw’s value is as high as it has ever been. MJ, you said he strengthened his core and it was no problem. If he passes a physical, that’s all that is required.

    2. If Andre thinks he will have to sit on the bench in his walk year, he will waive his no-trade to play for a new contract. He would not want to sit in his walk year. All FAZ has to do is tell him he won’t play.

    3. Damn, I thought FAZ read this blog religiously. I am so depressed…. 😉

    1. Mark

      I didn’t think about passing a physical,
      but I agree if he does pass a physical he will maintain most of his value.

      But you have heard people to this day here, that still believe, once a back injury, you will have back problems for the rest of your life.

      I think we both have went through this, so we understand, more about what Kershaw initially had wrong with his back.

      And because of this, we know that it is possible, to put a back problem behind you.

      And guess what, after Cueto had an elbow problem, all of Cueto’s films have looked fine, but I still was afraid of signing Cueto.

    1. I saw the same article. Obviously the back-loaded contract make lots of sense here since all contracts except Maeda (and Kershaw if he doesn’t opt out) come off of the books after 2018.

      I assume that the front office is creative enough to have figured this out long ago…therefore, it is not a foregone conclusion that they don’t sign either Turner or Jansen or even both.

  12. Wouldn’t the contract offered to Greinke (regardless of the fact he turned it down) be seen as proof FAZ aren’t handcuffed? It seems the FAZ model exists regardless of the amount of debt, not because of it.

    1. When they offered the deal, maybe they knew someone else would top it? I also heard (though unofficial sources) that when the Dodgers offered to take Greinke back, they asked the D-Bags to pay $100 million of his salary. Of course, they said no, but I was listening to MLB Radio this AM and they said they believed that the D-Bags would have to pay at least $15 mil a year to move Greinke.

      I agree with Rick that if Turner accepts a backloaded deal, he will re-sign. I don’t see that happening to Jansen.

      Write this down: The Dodgers will try to get near $200 million this year! They HAVE to by next year – no choice – MLB will make them! But, with extra payroll and luxury tax, it is costing them over $100 million a year and that is money they can apply to reduce their hundreds of millions of debt!

      The Dodgers may have deep pockets, but the spending is over!

      1. Mark

        I never thought about back loading a contract, but with only a couple of years to go, before most of the payroll will go down, it didn’t make sense to me, to lose Turner, and not get one of these closers.

        Because they are so close to that time now.

        Personally I wouldn’t want to back load many contracts, except with a pitcher or player, that might opt out, like Dodger patch has suggested.

        So you don’t end up having to pay that back loaded money, if they opt out, unless you resign them.

        If I was a team I would not want to get Stanton, with the money left on his contract, and with him having trouble staying on the field.

  13. I have nothing to compare this with, but, this seems amazing to me. Very high percentages (I think), tells me the future is bright!

    Rookies played a big role in the Dodgers’ NL West title, particularly due to the number of injuries suffered by the team. According to Plunkett, rookie players accounted for 21.3% of Dodgers plate appearances and 29.6% of the team’s innings in 2016.

    1. Boxout

      It is like that all over baseball, because the tests on steroids have gotten better.

      Baseball is a young man’s game now.

      And that is why these clubs value the number one picks that teams get so much, when one of there players become free agents.

      And that is why some of these free agents, are still on the market, right before spring training.

      Teams don’t want to give up that number one pick.

      And that is one of the reasons that the Dodgers actually have a better chance to sign Turner, and we will have to see the market on Kenley.

      The way the teams used closers in the post season, can’t happen like that in the regular season, unless at team has another top relief pitcher, to help with the load.

      I still don’t see the Giants poping on a top closer, they are usually more conservative.

      There GM was the only GM at that show case of that former Royals closer, so they might try to sign him, if he looked ok, after his TJ surgery.

      I still think Kenley is the best closer on the market.

      He got better the more he pitched in the post season.

  14. Nothing new in here. Just regurgitations of articles we’ve all already read. Until something is actually done, not much to really analyze is there. I still don’t believe for a minute this organization is in any financial difficulty. They are certainly tired of paying so much in fines for no championships. Who can blame them. But with continued money streams flowing in, they will be fine. (See what I did there) 3.7 million will pay whatever it takes to sit their butts in the Ravine and the tv money pours in even if the tv’s can’t be turned on.

    So, I have seen no projections here. Maybe I just missed them?

    http://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/TeamPage.aspx?TeamID=LAD

    I got the under on anything projected for Kazmir and McCarthy. Safe bet I believe.

    1. Badger

      The Dodgers can be manipulating there books, to avoid paying a lot of there taxes too.

      The next four years, it is going to be a good time to be a billionaire, so the Dodgers should make out fine.

      1. Geez, MJ, try living in someone else’s shoes before making statements like that. The last eight years have been very good to me!! Bribing Crooked Hillary and Obozo really paid off, until November 8, 2016. After that, the value of my $100M tax deductible contribution to the Clinton Foundation went down faster than Zack Greinke’s contract value. Damn Republicans!! I now worry my billions might be inflated away after Obozo ran up the national debt $10 trillion. I now have to hunker down, smaller yacht, less world wide travel (since the taxpayer won’t pay anymore), fewer houses. Woe is me!

        Dodgers are manipulating their books? Great idea!! I must be the only billionaire paying my “fair share” of taxes. Damn!! Do you have the name of the Dodger’s accounting firm? They sound really good!

        1. Boxout

          He now has three billionaires in his cabinet.

          And plans on giving the one percent a big tax break.

          Do you really think, they are thinking about the middle class?

          You must know how trickle it down, economics work, this is about the third time we have had this type of economics.

          At least the other people you mentioned, knows what it is like to grow up in a middle class home.

  15. I sincerely hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was peaceful and cold. Winter is closing in on the Sangre De Cristo’s !! No news on the Dodger front other than the paying off debt thing. I have no clue what they will do as I doubt any of us do. First thing is they are waiting on the new collective bargaining agreement to be completed. Once that is done, I think a lot of the dominos will begin to fall into place. And by the way MJ, I doubt they are manipulating their books. They are a corporation, not individuals, so different tax laws apply. The IRS watches those boys pretty well. And if Hillary had won, it would be a lot worse trust me.

    1. Michael

      I’m glad you had a nice Thanksgiving!

      I hate this cold.

      I don’t ever remember it being this cold in California when I grew up, but it was this way, last year.

      It seemed to always be warm even this time of the year, and people use to say it didn’t feel like the holidays, because of the warm temperature.

    2. The IRS watches corporations? You mean like they watched Trump and his? Ridiculous. Corporations OWN lawmakers. I’m surprised you don’t know that.

      MLB has some language in place that says something about compliance after X number of taxable years, but the fact of this matter is that ALL of MLB benefits from the rich franchises. The only way Tampa and Oakland can stay in business is through profit sharing. There isn’t enough local interest in the Rays and the A’s to keep them solvent.

      “the spending is over” – ……. More nonsense. The spending will go on and on. This is capatlism at its finest. MLB recorded their 13th consecutive year of growth. I believe I read recently 2015 recorded around $10 billion, and when the dust settles on ’16 I think it’s safe to say the streak will continue. May not be nearly as busy as our prison industry, but most definitely a growing concern. The Dodgers value went up around 5%. There are some who will cry losses as their assets grow in value. I am not one who can do that.

      1. Since baseball lost its status years ago that kept its taxes down, the IRS boys have been watching. Legitimate business men have high paid lawyers that know every single tax loophole in existence. That is how they avoid paying huge taxes and penalty’s. Those guys earn their money you can bet, and that is nothing to do with politics, it is all about the money and how to keep as much of it for yourself as possible. Athletes themselves have been victims of some pretty smooth maneuvering’s by their agents and lawyers, in whom they place way too much trust, if you do not believe that, ask Kareem and Michael Tyson. Lawmakers are the biggest crooks on earth, we all know that. I know all about the system and how it works. For years MLB had it good with the feds. But once that exemption went away, big brother had his eye on the prize. One of the reasons O’Malley sold the team was because his kids did not want it because of the estate taxes. Time for another revolution…we the small guys are footing the bill for these rich people. I do not know about you, but going to a game with all the trimmings is way to expensive for the average fan.

  16. I think two things are likely:

    1. Not much player movement until the CBA is in place;

    2. The Dodgers are in the same boat as they were when McCourt owned the team: They have too much debt and it has to be paid down in order not to run afoul of MLB regulations. This is not a manipulation – it is real and tangible and payroll has to come down to avoid paying the luxury tax.

    They can pay $100 million toward their loans or they can pay $100 million luxury tax. Even Ray Charles can see what they have to do, even if some here can’t comprehend it! It seems pretty simple to me.

    1. Mark

      Isn’t this really just about the payroll?

      They have spent plenty of money on young Cuban prospects, before they were cut off from doing that for a while.

      That type of spending doesn’t count against the payroll, so they will still be spending, as long as it doesn’t go against the payroll.

      But even then, they will make some created ways, to do what they want to do.

    2. “The Dodgers are in the same boat as they were when McCourt owned the team: ”

      You mean a steady course toward bankruptcy? Yikes!

  17. Geez – stop with the politics already. What the Dodgers are doing has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump or Barak Obama. We can’t even blame George W Bush!

    We can blame: Peter O’Malley, Fox, Frank McCourt, Guggenheim Partners, Stan Kasten, Andrew Friedman et al, Paul DiPodesta, Joe Torre, Donnie Mattingly, Jim Tracy, Grady Little, etc.

    The Dodgers are a baseball team. I for one could do without the not-so-veiled political comments from both sides of the aisle. Whether or not Donald Trump was elected president (since he’s not president yet he hasn’t done anything that could possibly effect the Dodgers) or whether Barak Obama has been president for the past 8 years has nothing to do with the Dodgers’ management style, player acquisition, player development, coaching, managing, financial management, player performance or PED’s for their lack of success for the past 28 years.

    1. Sorry, Rick, some of us live in bigger worlds with other interests too… I’ll try to remember. Think I’ll get a tattoo to help remember…

  18. I tried posting this some time back, but it was removed before it could be read. I have been a long time reader, now first time to post. I have been a Dodger fan since 1959, when my neighbor took me to the La Coliseum to watch my first game. Johhny Podres was pitching, Wally Moon hit a moon shot and Don Demeter got a few hits and became my first Dodger hero. As an 8 year old boy, I fell in love with the Dodgers and have been a die hard fan ever since.

    In any regard, with the discussion about trading Kershaw, while I wouldn’t necessarily be in favor of it, I might consider trading him to Houston for Lance McCullers, Alex Bergman (this is on the assumption we don’t sign Turner), Chris Devenski ( I went to H.S. with his dad and played baseball with him), David Paulino and Kyle Tucker. Maybe we throw in Kike and there might be a few other pieces. What think the aspiring GMs on this blog?

    1. Interesting idea. Bregman (sic) we know, McCullers is at least on the roster, the rest of those guys aren’t ranked all that highly. I did look them up and was surprised that Houston has few prospects ranked in the top 50. I thought they had more.

      I may have been at a game you attended in ’59 Demeter. My grandfather got a lot of tickets through his work. I remember Demeter had a great start in ’59, sending Snider to right field. There was a contest to give him a nickname – as I recall “Speedemeter” was on the list. Don’t recall if any stuck. You and I became Dodger fans at the same time. I lived in Canoga Park then.

      1. That’s a very interesting coincidence. I lived in Dairy Valley (Cerritos now). I forgot about the nickname for Demeter. I remember Vin Scully saying he galloped when he ran. I thought that was cool. I liked him because he was a lanky 6′ 4″ , just like I was. I was 6′ 4′ in 7th grade. Haven’t grown an inch since then, maybe shrunk a little. I have doubled my body weight though.

        1. We moved to Los Alamitos in ’62. Went to Western High. My original favorite players were Moon and Koufax, but I took immediately to Maury Wills. He was my kind of player, playing my position.

  19. Is this financial business just speculation? From what I recall, the luxury tax keeps going up each year that the team exceeds the limit. I think in the 5th year, it might be 50%. Is there more to it than that. It seems that the luxury tax structure should be enough incentive to reduce payroll. To the accountants out there: Are these taxes deductible? They should be. It is not a tax in the IRS sense, but a penalty imposed by your partners. I bet it is fully deductible. Still, it is a bad expenditure of $. I like the Houston proposal. It would be REAL NICE to pick up Altuve.

    1. Bobbie 17

      Of course no one wants to pay a bigger penalty every year, and just throw away money, but they are still spending money elsewhere.

      1. Some writers use lots of words to say almost nothing and in this case all he said was that Puig was an athlete, probably played third as a kid some, and should therefore be able to play third. Just the same, nice to know there are other crazies out there bedsides me.

      2. Hello MJ, it’s Paul. And as far as this statement goes:
        The farm is THERE. I have never, NEVER seen the Dodger’s farm system this loaded!
        I agree the farm has never looked better but at this time the farm is void of any ready 3rd base prospects. And please, hopefully nobody suggests guys like Kike or Chris Taylor as options there because that won’t play. Not sure Dodgers would “blow team up” just yet anyway.

    1. This is such a poorly written and stupid article, I’d almost think some of our politically bent posters here may have written it.

      Joking.

  20. Let me make this real simple.

    1. The Dodgers are showing a loss, not a profit.

    2. That means they do not have the revenue to pay down what is between 500 million and 1 billion in loans.

    3. They are paying $100 million in luxury tax and $50 million in excess payroll.

    4. MLB gave them a 5 year waiver which allowed them to be over the debt threshold percentage which all clubs have to abide by. If you don’t they can come in and seize the team.

    5. That 5 year waiver is over next year. How can the Dodgers pay off the debt, unless they cut payroll and the luxury tax?

    6. There is no choice – the Dodgers must start paying back debt which means they cut payroll this year and next and lower the luxury tax this year while eliminating it next year.

    That is what will happen, Ladies and Gentlemen!

    1. Mark,

      This is baloney and you should know it.

      1 & 2. Debt is a long and medium term problem. The loss the Dodgers are showing over a profit is a short-term metric, that is very fungible.

      3. The luxury tax could go up with the next CBA, the excess payroll is both temporary and to alleviate medium term problems.

      4. There’s as much chance of a Kershaw trade as MLB “coming in and seizing the team.” They didn’t do that with an owner they hated, they won’t do it with an ownership group they love.

      5. This is an easy problem and one that has, to the most part, already been solved. Ethier comes off the books, Gonzalez comes off the books, Crawford comes off the books. The big cost centerss will be Kershaw, Turner, Hill.

      6. Wrong. The Dodgers don’t need to do anything with debt EVER. They can restructure debt if they need to, to make it seem less. The owners can retire debt.

      1. Well, I do not have the time to refute what you just posted now, but I might later this evening. Even at that, I will just say “Watch and Learn!” History will be the judge. I stand totally by what I said!

        1. Watch and learn what?

          That your speculation is baseless and silly?

          Here’s what I see. The Dodgers payroll has to get down to the meagerly sum of roughly $200-225mm. That leaves them about 50-70mm to spend this summer without any further salary shedding.

          Even better, in 2018 when Harper is a Free Agent, the Dodgers books look even better.

          Turning a profit for a sports team is secondary. The value is unlocked in the value of the franchise.

          The key term is revenue, Debt is meaningless. When you have strong revenue streams, you can tuck it away in a myriad of ways. The Dodgers have guaranteed revenue from the DirecTV deal which stops everyone from watching it. They also have top tier gate revenues.

    2. Mark, why did you wait until now to tell us this? I like that there is a debt issue. I have always wanted the Dodgers to win it and not try to buy it.

      1. I was always against the TRADE.
      2. I was in favor of the Kemp contract.
      3. I was against the Ethier contract.
      4. I thought it was stupid to offer Anderson a QO.
      5. I would have only taken a flyer on one of McCarthy and Anderson because of the doubt on Ryu.
      6. I would have offered a front loaded contract to Scherzer and given him an opt out after 2 years.
      7. I think the Hill trade was necessary and it almost worked out but I might have chickened out from making that trade.
      8. I hated the AJ trade.
      9. I would trade Kershaw to get Trea Turner or Mookie Betts.
      10. I would start now in training Puig to play third.
      11. I would not sign Turner or Jansen.
      12. I would trade Gonzales.
      13. I would trade McCarthy and Kazmir in July.
      14. I would appoint Romney as SOS.
      15. I would nominate Garland for SCJ

      1. Bum

        I remember you wanted Scherzer, and I think he wanted to go to the Nats, but I don’t think he has an opt out, but that is a good idea at times, especially if a contract is back loaded.

        He really pitched well in the post season for the Tigers, and I was suprised that we hit him as well as we did.

        And on 14 that might be the best of two evils.

        And you know I love Mookie Betts, but who wouldn’t want a confident young player like Betts.

        He is an exciting player, on both offense and defense.

        I wouldn’t want to put Betts in the infield, he is way to valuble in the outfield.

  21. Zero point Zero chance any of this Kershaw trade banter is worth a nickle.

    For the record, I think the team will resign 2 of the big 3.

    For my thinking on this:

    I think Hill is the most important, Turner second and Jansen last.

    Working backwards, I just think it’s easier to create a bullpen than it is to acquire/create a 2nd starter or quality 3rd basemen. Andrew Miller was a converted starter, so was Greg Holland. There was a time when San Diego would every year do it. I mean the Dodgers pen last year was stellar and outside of Jansen they used Coleman, Baez and Mr. Slider himself.

    There’s a dearth of pitching, and HIll’s just amazing if (and only if) his blisters can be managed. Resign him and everything falls into place. With Urias and Maeda, then Stewart/Anderson/McCarthy providing depth. Send DeLeon anywhere, maybe even for a closer.

    Turner’s old, and his inverted splits are annoying. But he’s power and he can field.

  22. Not many options to replace Turner, and yes his splits in 2016 were not good, as his troubles hitting LHP compounded that situation. Bret Anderson is a FA and won’t be back and Dodgers have better options than McCarthy for one of those starting pitching spots. Baez, i would not consider for any closer job, still some sort of head case.

  23. Boxbiter, write this down and keep it forever, I’m going to say something nice about FAZ. Great idea to spread Kazmir’s salary over 6 years. He should do that with other players, too. With the farm producing and us looking forward to several minimum wage guys for several years, spending money on Turner and a couple of other expensive toys is possible, if the salary is spread over 6 or 8 years instead of 3 or 4. See, I’m fair.

    1. Wondering

      I don’t think Turner would mind having a back loaded contract.

      But you forgot to say this, that you would never want to have there job, and have to make these type of decisions.

      See I remember!

  24. I’ve figured out a way for the Guggenheim Group to pay down the debt. Pay close attention because it’s complicated:

    they write a check.

    I’m not at all sold on Hill. If he had more of a history and fewer years on his body I might could be convinced. Let somebody else count on 200 innings from a 37 year old who has never done it. He did throw 195 once. In 2007.

    Wonder, I’m against continuing to pay millions for guys who don’t play for the Dodgers. We are going to draw 3.7 million and cash tv checks for years to come. Let’s figure a way to do it with mostly our own guys. I believe there will be some outstanding free agents in 2018. Pick a couple of those guys and team them up with our young studs. I’m thinking Harper and Machado, Pollock and Keuchel. Maybe Harvey and Kershaw. I can wait.

  25. This will probably piss off DodgerRick again, but, oh well… What the Hell is a “therapy animal”? I just saw a woman leading a fufu in a Santa Clause suit in Walmart. I guess I stared at it and someone said it was OK, it was a “therapy animal”. What is this world coming to, that psycho women are allowed to bring their pets into restaurants and businesses contrary to health laws, claiming they’re emotionally disabled without the dog. What if I were attached to an ocelot or a rattlesnake, would our politically correct society allow me to take them everywhere I go? Where does it end? I’m ready, Lord, take me away…

    1. Wondering

      They do have therapy dogs.

      But I had a friend that made something up on her computer, to claim her dog was a therapy dog.

  26. OK, so since in Never-Never Land you “Just write a check?” Where does the money come from? It’s not in the bank because if it was, it would be felony stupid not to have already paid it instead of paying tens of million of dollars in interest.

    Wait! There is no Never-Never Land and this is the real world where it takes real money. So, where does the money come from? Guggenheim can’t cough up more. They could dilute their ownership by selling stock to other partners. Yeah – that’s the ticket! Hopefully, no one here believes that…

    There is a debt issue and it is not baloney. I am not a CPA, but I took all the requisite accounting courses in college and I know how to read a financial statement and a balance sheet – it’s part of my job. As near as I can tell, the Dodgers are in debt somewhere between $600 and $850 million. They are over the threshold MLB requires, but they were given a 5-year get out of debt card that runs out in 2017.

    Some of you may think this is baloney and believe this is monopoly money. It’s real. You will find out and Oh… by the way, I have been saying this for 2 years.

    1. Yeah, and you thought McCourt was going to be a great owner and that George W Bush was going to be a great President. Who was it that tried to set you set you straight on both those two? Yeah, it was me, and I was dead right about both those guys. Everything I said would happen did indeed happen. Your track record is crap pal.

      The Dodgers and MLB are doing just fine. Who knows if that continues over the next four years. It could all go to hell in a hat very quickly, but I suspect billionaires are likely to be safe.

      1. Oh Mighty One, you are right about everything… which is why you are of the Elite 1% – because you are so damn smart. My God, how can we ever understand how great you are? You are such a damn legend…. I am not worthy. You are magnificent! You are almighty. You are just amazing.

        There: I put you in your safe space. I don’t want you to feel unworthy or sad. Drink your warm milk and let mommy tuck you in. Goodnight!

      2. Badger

        Why did baseball allow McCourt keep the parking lots?

        If the new owners had to pay the money he was in debt with, how was he able to keep the parking lots?

  27. 1 – In addition to a Kershaw trade being ill-advised, such a trade would bring wholesale revolt on the part of Dodger fans. they won’t do it.
    2 – Turner is the most important re-sign – unless they trade for his equivalent. A trade for Longoria would cost prospects, not $$ and he isn’t paid as much as Turner is likely to receive. I would prefer Turner be resigned. A backloaded contract may solve this problem as after 2018 the only big money left on the books will be Kershaw, if he stays.
    3 – Hill is not my idea of a good signing. he threw 110 innings last year – the second most of his career and even then he was on the DL multiple times, and not just with blisters (groin strain). He would likely give us what Kazmir, McCarthy, Anderson et al have given us.
    4 – A closer is a must. I see no one on the roster suited to the role. A failed starter you say? Who, pray tell? Certainly not Baez – he of the 11 HR. If not Jansen then Chapman, but in addition to Chapman’s moral failings, why “grow your own” if you’re not going to keep them? Backloading his deal makes sense to me too.
    5 – Simply resigning Turner and Jansen does nothing to solve last year’s problems – starting pitching and right-handed offense. The kids should be better this year but none will be allowed to throw 180 innings, so they will have Kershaw and the dwarves again. A trade for a better starter should be a priority – preferably one who is able to pitch every 5 days most of the time and actually, you know, get people out? Chris Sale is number 1 on my hit parade and he has a team friendly contract that won’t break the bank.
    6 – They still have to do something with 2B. A trade for a bona fide 2B, preferably one who hits righty should also be a priority. Both Dozier and Kinsler have team friendly contracts and won’t break the bank.

    1. 1. It depends upon the return.

      2. Quit thinking about all these old guys who looked good yesterday. I want guys who look good tomorrow. Howe about we trade Yasiel Puig and Kike Hernandez to the Cubs for Jeimer Candelario? There’s our 3B. Look him up. Pay more if you have to.

      3. I’m over the Hill!

      4. Closers are the most overrated players in baseball. I’m fine with Baez.

      5. No trades for starters. Grow from within – we have about 10 million arms.

      6. Kinsler wants a new deal (no way) and Dozier costs too much. I’m not afraid of Austin Barnes at 2B. He will hit!

      1. Mark

        I don’t think one Dodger fan will be able to enjoy many games, if we had to wait and suffer, while Baez is trying to save a game.

        He is terrible with inherited runners, and I know closers don’t have those situations usually, but Baez is a slow ticking time bomb, that makes everyone suffer through almost every game he is in, and that happens in even games, he does well.

  28. When I wrote about trading Kershaw, I said that it was not likely to happen. I still believe that. However, not likely is not “impossible.” Don’t get all up in arms about a hypothetical.

    OTOH, the debt is not a hypothetical and only a dumbass would think otherwise – but that’s the explanation. Well, actually, it’s the truth!

    Speaking of The Truth… I guess I ran him off?

    I have no idea what will happen this offseason, except to say that payroll will go down. BOOK IT! I think it will prove to be very interesting!

  29. Mark,
    I don’t buy it that MLB has Guggs on some type of debt watch list. The team is valued at 2.5bln dollars. If I use your debt
    figure of 850mln that gives them a debt to value ratio of 34%.
    I guarantee you that quite a few teams are way over that number.
    Yes they do need to get the debt paid down, but I seriously doubt they are on some type of MLB watch list.

  30. For all who insist on talking politics and who denigrate me for appealing for Dodger-related posts rather than “shots” at various political theories or figures:
    1 – I am an attorney – I do the law for a living. I certainly do not, as one here has suggested, put my head in the sand when it comes to politics. I choose to talk about the Dodgers on a Dodger-related site.
    2 – I was 1st involved in politics in 1966 for my Dad (at age 10) when he was campaign manager for a state legislative race and I walked precincts for him. I cajoled my 8th grade social studies teacher to sponsor a debate team and participated in my first debate tournament at age 12. I debated in high school and college too. I interviewed for a job with a state house legislative caucus before I graduated law school. I have read political works as well as historical works (my undergraduate major) and economic works my entire life.

    3 – There are plenty of things to divide Dodger fans already. Do we approve of the current team management? Do we approve of player acquisition, development and management? What should the team do to be successful in the short and long term? The real world is far more divisive. One reason that I follow baseball is that it is a nice escape from the real world. I am a partner in a law firm – can you imagine what it would be like to have lawyers as business partners? My wife has almost died over a dozen times in the last 7 years. You haven’t lived until your wife goes into a coma while you are standing her up and holding her in your arms, or she stops breathing and they put her on a ventilator while you are standing there watching. The Dodgers help to get me through that in a minor way – they are a pleasant distraction – something that I care about that doesn’t really matter.

    Sorry about the sermonizing, but I just can’t stand the condescending attitude of those who think that I, like an ostrich, feel like putting my head in the sand instead of facing reality. I face reality every day, but also want to talk about the Dodgers – even when they don’t win, they are a great diversion.

    1. You keep reminding us that you don’t approve of talking politics, then talk politics in your explanation of why. I respect your opinion regarding baseball and don’t much care about you being a lawyer. I don’t care much for lawyers as my only dealings with them have been expensive nightmares – in divorce, in a business disagreement and in losing my stepson to a corrupt justice system. I’ll listen to your opinion about baseball and I’ll likely curse the industry you work for until the day I die. That’s just how it is.

      Sorry about your wife. I really am. But I could say you don’t know loss until one moment you’re talking to a friend and the next moment the only thing left of him is a foot in a boot. That’s what can happen when a mortar round hits you square in the back.

      We all have our stories Rick.

      1. I defy you to tell my what my political beliefs are from my post – Republican or Democrat; liberal or conservative. In fact, I told you that I have been involved in politics but have never discussed politics here that I can remember.

        1. I would guess by your demeanor you are more progressive than regressive Rick. Just a guess. I don’t really care. I respect your opinion as you most often offer it with some logic behind the thought.

        2. Dodger rick

          I don’t want you to be upset, but just by bringing up politics yourself right now, you brought up politics again.

          But just try to not take everything so personal.

          I don’t think anyone here, means to upset you.

          I think a lot here, respect your views on the Dodgers.

    2. Sorry for your problems. And I’m sorry for my problems and everyone else’s too. but I think you’re fighting a losing battle here. I have been on several different kinds of blogs over the 16 years I have been on the Internet and I have yet to see one that didn’t wonder off topic at times. often, as a matter of fact. And I am grateful for that. It is in the very nature of people to talk about all the things they find interesting in their life, not just baseball. They talk politics, yes, but also weather, food, drink, their families, vacations, and anything else under the sun. That is just the way we are. I’m sure you’ll run into the same problem on any other blog you try. I know this doesn’t help you but think of this. Everything that could have or should have been said here about the Dodgers is now in its fourth iteration. don’t you find that a little boring?

      1. It’s the off season following the most polarizing election in our nation’s history. People everywhere are a bit freaked out right now. I prefer talking baseball on a baseball blog but you’re right, we we wander Wonder. I’m fine with it, as long as we engage in civil conversation.

    3. Dodger rick

      I don’t think Wondering was saying you put your head in the sand.

      I think he was talking about himself.

      He doesn’t have a side.

      He doesn’t trust any of them.

  31. Per MLBTradeRumors.com:

    “TODAY: Dodgers president/CEO Stan Kasten rejected the notion that his club faces any league mandate, as ESPN.com’s Doug Padilla reports. “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.”

    As Padilla explains, commissioner Rob Manfred also backed down the idea that the organization would be forced to trim payroll to ease its debt burden. Under the league rule on debt servicing, he said, “non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance.” He made clear, further, that “there are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll.”

  32. Dodgers sign some switch hitting OF who was with Pawtucket in Boston’s system to a minor league deal……no power mediocre average at AAA….no big deal, just fodder……Think his last name is Ramos. Also, according to dodgerblue, Puig is still on the block….

  33. The Dodgers are not on a watch list.

    The Dodgers are not going broke.

    I have never said anything of the sort.

    I have said that their debt ratio is over the limit. MLB gave them a 5 year exemption from that when Guggs bought the team. Otherwise, they could not have bought it due to their high debt.

    That exemption expires after next year. Does anyone really think the other owners will allow Guggs to operate in a financial situation that they are not allowed? Currently, some teams have to let their own free agents walk because they don’t have the money to sign them.

    Of course, Kasten is going to say there is no problem and actually… there isn’t… because the Dodgers are going to bring down the debt by lowering their luxury tax payments.

    The Dodgers paid almost $27 million in luxury tax (17.5% of payroll) in 2014. It rose to almost $44 million in 2015 (30% of payroll) and in 2016 it will be 40% of payroll which will be like $100 million. In 2017 it will be 50% of payroll.

    Now, no one knows exactly what the Dodgers debt is, but MLB requires it to be at least 60/40. If that is the case, the Dodgers may have close to a billion dollar of debt. The Guggs and Johnsons and Kastens and Walters and Grubers got rich by not being stupid with their money. They are not going to keep paying $100 million+ in luxury tax and not paying off debt. That is moronic! The payroll is going down – they would like to get it to $189 million this year, because they can knock $100 million in debt off by doing it.

    It’s going to happen – watch and see. Money talks and B S walks!

    1. Well now we seem to be in some sort of agreement here. I’ll take it.

      They could help make up some of that $100 million by playing the Yankees in a 7 game World Series. Everybody with a tv would watch that. Even the Russians would watch. They’d hack the broadcast, but they’d watch.

    2. Mark,
      I don’t necessarily disagree with your comment or assessment of the situation but how does one explain the 5 year offer to Zack Grienke AND I do not want to hear that they were just raising the ante. Their offer was very legit and everyone thought Grienke was ‘in the bag’ to return to the Dodgers until the Diamondbacks stepped in attempting to one up the Dodgers.

      That along with the signing of McCarthy (4 year deal) and Kazmir (3 year deal) fly in the face of the Dodgers wanting to get below the luxury tax level.

      When considering the luxury tax isn’t Kershaw’s ‘true’ cost to the team $47.6M ($34M salary + luxury tax level of 40% is another $13.6M). So about the time they get below the luxury tax level they can up his salary to around $40M per and well it might just take them above that level again and the saga continues.

  34. Badger: “It’s the off season following the most polarizing election in our nation’s history. People everywhere are a bit freaked out right now.”

    I don’t know, I think maybe the roughly 2% of the U.S. population, an estimated 620,000 men who perished during the Civil War might argue with you about that. Taken as a percentage of today’s population, the toll would be about 6 million souls. Lincoln was actually a pretty polarizing individual!

    It is scary to think you were once an educator, with the opportunity to pass on your misinformation to young impressionable children. Sadly, your former second grade, gender identity students, are probably some confused grown-ups these days.

    1. Wow. You are consistent aren’t you.

      And do you believe Lincoln was responsible for those deaths? Have you ever read a book in your entire life? Since Abe was a Republican I can see how you might have cause to believe he started that conflict, but you would in fact be wrong. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to most in here.

      For your information I was a Curriculum Development Specialist in Adaptive Physical Education, a Special Education teacher, K-6 PE, football and baseball coach, and Women’s Jr College Softball coach. Perhaps I had you in one of my EH classes? I was only in the field a few years, after California passed Prop 13 the state went from 5th in the nation to 48th as educational specialists such as myself were let go. I substituted for a while, but had a young family and in Northern California I was considered overqualified for every job in town, weren’t many to begin with, so I left education and became an independent sales contractor. But my credentials are lifetime so I am still qualified to teach Special Ed. I believe with some personal one on one instruction I could help you.

        1. Look around the globe at how humans are behaving toward each other. I submit we are not evolving. We will get exactly what we have coming. Action reaction. It’s a law of the universe.

          1. If humans (Being the top of the predator chain) didn’t routinely kill each other, don’t you think the world would be a lot more crowded than it is? There’s worse things than dying….

          2. We are still evolving but the guidance software has been tragically corrupted. This is not what God intended when he planted the Garden of Eden. (Sorry if the religious reference offends anyone. I am not religious and do not intend to preach. I use Biblical references for Historical context only.)

          3. “There are worse things than dying”

            I wasn’t expecting that out of you Wondering.

            But since you brought it up, I’ll first say, considering the topic of conversation, that was a damn weak argument and, more importantly, I believe there is no such thing as death. We are, according to the Mystics, at the bottom of creation. No where to go but up from here. But without evolution of the soul, we are doomed to come back to this creation to reap the karma of our deeds – good and bad. Action reaction.

            Happy trails.

    2. Boxout

      What are you afraid of?

      It is better to have diversity in our nation.

      Look what Hitler did choosing to eliminate the people he didn’t like.

      Einstein ended up going to the US, to escape from the Nazis, and he was the big difference in ending World War Two.

      When you want to eliminate certain people, you eliminate some of the best minds and hearts of people.

      1. Actually MJ, Einstein had little to no influence in ending WWII. He was considered a brilliant man, but way too eccentric for the Manhattan project and was not a part of it at all. That was run by Robert Oppenheimer, who was actually a communist. Einstein wrote a letter to FDR saying that the atom bomb was a possibility. But the team of scientists that actually developed the device as it was called, did not include Albert.

          1. And this about Einstein still proves my point, because, Germany lost one of the great minds, because of that hatred.

          2. Not Einstein. His letter to FDR told him that the Germans were trying to develop a atom bomb. The process of getting the U-235 which is necessary to create the bomb was discovered by Harold Urey and his team at Columbia University, and Ernest Lawrence at the University of California at Berkeley devised the process in which U-235, and the useless U-238 were separated since they had almost identical properties. Oppenheimer was with the Manhattan Project from beginning to end. Einstein had nothing to do with the bombs development. He was a very brilliant man, there is not a doubt about that, and he fled Nazism. There were many brilliant scientists on that team, including Oppenheimer, David Bohm, Leo Szilard, and Enrico Fermi. Einstein’s main contribution was his letter informing FDR of what the Nazi’s were trying to do. Luckily, we did it first.

          3. Um. Wasn’t the theoretical underpinning behind the A-Bombs construction the e=mc^2 equation that Einstein came up with?

  35. Badger, I am sure you do believe you could help me! Probably think you should be ruling the world also!! Too funny!!

    So California went from 5th in the nation to 48th in education after you were let go? You were considered overqualified for every job in town? I am seeing a pattern here. TOTAL DELUSION!!

    I can see it now, “Ahhh Sorry Mr. Badger, you are just too overqualified for us peons here. So no, we don’t have a job for you! Have you tried Oxford or Harvard? I hear they need a new president. Thank you for your time. Good Day”. I won’t tell you what they were really thinking!

    In any event, I am glad selling vacuum cleaners door to door worked out better for you!!!!

    1. Boxout

      Badger didn’t say that education went down because he left education.

      He said it was prop 13.

      Teachers do a hard job, for less money then most professionals.

      I am sure a teacher touched you in school, and I don’t mean physically.

      And I know not all teachers are good at there job, but that happens in every profession.

  36. I was watching the Dodger show last night, and Colletti insinuated that the Dodgers shouldn’t wait around to long, to sign Turner.

    He didn’t mention Turner by name, but the sports writer next to Colletti, made it obvious that Colletti was talking about Turner.

    And I can’t believe anyone here, didn’t make a response to Mark having no problem, going with Baez as our new closer.

    Did everyone see that?

    1. Actually, Mark says so much and in so many directions, most people here have just stopped listening to him; he’s the wind blowing, the street traffic two blocks away, the refrigerator constantly running, distant dogs barking….

      1. Baez as closer? He’s got the stuff, if he learns to spot it, develops an effective off speed pitch, takes 30 seconds off his naps between pitches and did I mention control and command? Guess I did. And no, I didn’t notice Mark had mentioned that, primarily for the reasons Wonder mentioned. btw, that was funny ……

        The Dodgers have to wait on Turner. His agent will likely drag this out a while. The off season is still young.

        1. Badger

          I know the agents and players do need to wait some, but I just think Colletti meant, just don’t allow Turner to get to many offers, if you really want to sign him.

          That Dodger writer said something to Colletti about framing, and that reminded me of you.

          I guess Colletti is not to convinced, when it comes to framing.

          He said that a had a funny joke, about framing, but he never told his joke.

          1. How about this one:

            A catcher who continues to try to fool an umpire is hoping to make it into the Hall of Frame.

  37. I agree with Badger that the education of our young in this country has gone to crap. I asked my grandkids some basic US History questions, ( my favorite subject ) and they had no clue what I was talking about. I also think some of our kids are extremely well educated but lack common sense which unfortunately cannot be taught.

    1. The U S School System is a failure as practiced, but it has great potential. We just need to be much, much more selective on choosing teachers, as well as Law Enforcement and Judicial workers, Politicians and who have I left out?

      1. Funding is the key. Our priorities are askew. We’ll spend billions on war machines that end up parked on tarmacs but won’t fund new computers for classrooms. That’s been true for 40 years. We don’t value education the way other cultures do, and that is why we are way down the list in global education stats. Now, if you can afford a private school, tuition about $11,000, you might have a chance at a better education. For the average American that is impossible. Until we value public education, we won’t compete with the best globally.

        1. I don’t quite agree. Schools get beau coup money, they just mis-manage it. So does the military. Schools need to cut out all social and athletic activity (I know Badger’s going to love that) and teach academics, as they are supposed to do. I knew some teachers in Orange County where I used to live and they were all in agreement about how well the Asian children learned and conducted themselves, academically, they dominated. That speaks poorly of the discipline and family life us other Americans have fallen to.

          1. Beau coup money? Seriously?

            I haven’t researched it of late but I don’t see how it could have changed much. The big issue years ago was classroom size. No class should ever exceed 20 students and a class that size requires at least one if not two teachers aides. In my K-6 pilot PE class I had 60, which was two classes of 30 at a time. Ridiculous. Both the 30, and the 60 number. Last I looked classroom sizes were still near 30.

            http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/fb/index.asp

            Looks like it’s still approaching 30.

            In private schools, and Mark can speak to this, classroom size rarely exceeds 16, and that’s with an aide. If classes are larger than that, don’t pay $11,000 for tuition.

            The other issue has always been school supplies. In many districts teachers are using their own money for many supplies the district “can’t afford”. If they have so much money, why the large classrooms and lack of supplies? And we’re not even talking some players having to purchase their own uniforms now.

            No, beau coup money is simply not the case. The facts don’t support that argument.

          2. I disagree Wondering. The social and athletic costs are probably a little high, but the big problem is bureaucracy. School districts are bloated beyond belief with managers and support staffs for School Board members.

            If there is any social/political construct that is as past its due date as the School Board?They seem to exist only to support themselves and hide budgets in shadows.

        2. Maybe if we quit being the police force for the rest of the world we can spend money in our own country or as Trump stated, some of these other countries (all the one’s Badger is referencing) need to start paying up.

          Their free ride HOPEFULLY is over. ‘The best globally’ won’t be so great once they have to defend themselves.

          And on another note, money DOES NOT determine the level of education a student receives. Kids in the late 1800’s attended single room classrooms and were well educated. The level of education (or intelligence) is determined by the students willingness to want to learn. All the money in the world will not educate a student that does not want to learn. Which just might take us back to parenting.

          In conclusion, our education system is screwed up and there are many leeches making a killing off of ‘the un-educated kids.’ BS. Some of you that live in California have heard the stories of the School Superintendents making in excess of a quarter million dollars per year. THAT IS ONE OF THE MANY PROBLEMS!

          1. Chili

            California shouldn’t have to help these smaller states, pay for there educational systems.

            California’s economic system is more like an economic system of most countries.

            And that is why they need to eliminate that electori al college system.

            That gives to much power to small states, with much smaller populations.

            The most votes should win, especially since most of these states with the larger populations, are helping to fund these smaller states, with there money.

    2. Michael

      You seem to like military history a lot.

      You would have loved to have the professor I had in American History, in college.

      He went to Harvard and majored in US military history, and he had a minor in communication.

      He was a really good communicator, and he was very well versed in US history.

      I love history too, and he made history so interesting, because he spoke so well.

      I am not into military history that much, but some of the military things he talked about, he made pretty interesting.

      1. I like most kinds of history, but I love American history. And I read about it from all different resources. I get really ticked when Hollywood makes a movie and basically gets the history totally wrong. One huge example was Pearl Harbor. Nice love story, but lousy telling of history. Tora, Tora, Tora was more accurate.

  38. What is terrible about California public education, is that California’s economy supports some of the other state’s public education, and those states have a better public education system, then children California.

  39. (MJ) “The most votes should win”

    I understand that Hillary had more popular votes than Obama in the 2012 Dem. primary – if that is correct what do you say about that.

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