Los Angeles Dodgers? More like Los Angeles … Spend-A-Lot-Of-Money-ers, amirite?
According to multiple reports, the Dodgers are getting close to signing the top free agent on the market, starting pitcher Zack Greinke, to an enormous six-year, $145 million deal. The sides haven’t yet reached an agreement, so this isn’t a done deal, but obviously things are getting close.
If the Dodgers land Greinke on that deal, you can expect the free agent market – and, thus, the trade market – to finally shake loose a bit. A number of the next tier of starting pitchers in free agency – Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, for example – seem to be waiting on Greinke before seriously engaging in contract talks. You can also expect the Rangers, who would have lost out on Greinke at that point, to more seriously pursue bringing Josh Hamilton back. That, in turn, could push the Mariners to more aggressively pursue a Michael Bourn or a Nick Swisher in free agency. This could also mean that the Dodgers don’t go all out to sign Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, the pitcher for whom they outbid the Cubs last month in the posting system, and have until tomorrow to sign to a contract. If they don’t come to an agreement, he goes back to Korea for a year to try posting again next year.
As for the Dodgers, should they ink Greinke, their payroll for 2013 is virtually guaranteed (even on a massively backloaded deal) to eclipse the $200 million mark, which is mind-boggling (and makes the Cubs’ projected $85ish million payroll look downright quaint (but spending just to spend is silly, so I’m not complaining at this point)). I know their new owners have bottomless pockets, and their new TV deal is going to pay them a perverse amount of money soon, but it’s still difficult to conceive of the 2014/2015/2016 Dodgers not being hampered by an obscene amount of money tied up in aging, probably very-declining, players they can’t move.
Or they’ll just keep stacking new contracts on top of the old, until their 2025 payroll is $1.9 billion, and they have to shutter the place.
Either way, I’m perfectly content to continue rooting for them to come up just short of the playoffs.
UPDATE: Multiple reports say the two sides have officially come to terms, and the deal is just pending a physical. Bully for them.