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.

  • fortyonenorth

    What’s that mean for Ryu? The deadline’s tomorrow. Maybe they just bid on him to take him off the market. There’s no penalty for not completing the deal, is there?

    • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

      They won’t get Ryu, and they’ll get their money back if the contract is not completed.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Correct. And then he goes back to Korea for a year.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        Yeah, what that guy said.

      • fortyonenorth

        Maybe the Greinke thing is just disinformation intended to get Boras/Ryu to sign or a lower figure?

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    I too am content with the Dodgers falling short of anything, but that might be because I’m a Giants fan 😉

    I also think this has direct impact on the Ryu negotiations (which end tomorrow), the Rangers (will they sign Hamilton?) and of course, as you noted, the other guys like Anibal Sanchez.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I mentioned Hamilton, but I’m not sure about the Ryu impact. I’m sure they still want to get him if at all possible. But I’m sure they don’t go to the mats now. I’ll add that.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        He’s a Boras client, right? With the egg on his face from just about nobody wanting Rafael Soriano, I wonder if his leverage took a bit of a hit…I don’t really understand sports psychology to be honest, but I doubt Ryu really wants to go back to Korea for a year and I feel like the Dodgers have the upper hand, which I guess you mean by “not going to the mats” 😉

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    I <3 that pic BTW. Hyperbole and a Half?

  • Adam

    It’s California, they don’t worry about deficits. Money grows on the trees they’ve saved…

  • Deez

    Pardon my French but…
    The Dodgers ain’t BULLSHITTIN’!

  • Internet Random

    That’s some effin’ loot, yo.

  • Timmy

    This is potentially a good deal since the Dodgers are so stacked with talent. They should be able to produce enough runs per year that Greinke should be able to post 18 win seasons consistently even if his ERA hits mid-3’s. I’d liken this to a Mike Mussina situation in which the guy wasn’t the best pitcher ever but was super-solid to put in innings and not ‘blow it’. With a good team behind him he had great win/loss ratios every year.

    That said, that’s a whooooole lot of money for a good but not amazing pitcher.

    • Lou

      Actually, I disagree this is a good deal for Grienke. Think he would have been better taking less money and going to Texas.

  • Internet Random

    Do players’ salaries get preferred treatment under Chapter 11?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know you’re being funny, but I think the answer is actually yes – wasn’t that the case in the Tribune bankruptcy? Some higher level of priority, at least, right?

      (Wasn’t a bankruptcy guy, but you piqued my interest.)

      • Internet Random

        I honestly don’t remember. I seem to recall that salaries in general get some priority, but I don’t know if that extends all the way to and through the mega-millions that MLB players get. I know if I were a bankruptcy judge and had the discretion (and I don’t know that they do), I’d be making sure the janitors got all their pay before the players got all of theirs.

        • HackAttack

          I think contracts are guaranteed by MLB.

      • Barry

        The Dodgers are an interesting counterpoint to the Cubs’ approach of keeping all the money in the hands of the owners and not trying to win at all for years and years. The Cubs have an equally solid financial market, just a lot less interest in winning and a lot less imagination.

        • Kubphan82

          Bullarky, poppycock, balderdash on all accounts…

          The Epstein’s don’t have nearly the revenue stream the Dodgers have right now, largely because of the impact of devastatingly different media contracts… Tommy boy’s not sitting there lining his pockets, it’s been verbalized the money is up to Theo to spend, he would not (by his hand) cut spending, and that he trusts Theo to make the appropriate baseball decisions.

          That being said, THIS IS THEO’S decision to run payroll under Rickett’s budget. And kudos to him for not spending just to spend, for building a sustainable business through the diligence an commitment of his plan.

          Greinke is laughable at $22mil/yr for 6 yrs
          AGON is not worth $21mil/yr for the next 6 yrs, let alone for one…
          Crawford will make $20mil/yr for 5yrs
          Kemp may be worth his $21mil/yr for 7yrs (looks like a steal compared to the others)
          Still paying $16mil/yr for 2yrs of Beckett/HanRam each. 5/85 for Eithier starting in 2013.

          Even with a surplus of funds I’d only take Kemps contract, with a thought toward Ethiers, a consideration to HanRam’s and a big HELL NO to everyone else’s.

          • Timmy

            I agree that the Dodgers are overspending. But if they have the cash and they end up winning then who cares? Who should the big-market money go to, the owners so they can buy an extra fifteen porsches or the players who bring the fans out? The Cubs have up to 160M to spend with the new TV contracts and are set on saving at least 60M for the owners each of the past couple years. So some good points are raised here about not wasting money, but on the other hand why should the Cubs not spend money if they have it? A big contract is a gamble, but so is waiting for 3-6 years for a 19 year old to become the next Pujols. And in the latter option the Cubs just plain suck.

          • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

            I guess you don’t want to take a chance on winning then.

  • Tommy

    It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers perform. With the arguments we’ve had on this site, the Dodgers will be a perfect example of what can happen when you just buy up all the best available talent at any cost. Keep in mind, this test will need to be assessed over more than just one year.

    It will be interesting to see the progression or regression of this organization over the next 5 – 10 years as compared to the Cubs. They clearly have 2 entirely different ideas of how to do business.

    • JoeyCollins

      Don’t think it’ll take 5 to 10 years to really compare strategies. If all goes well then in the next 2 to 3 years the rebuild will be over and we will be spending like a large market team should. If 2014-2015 the cubs are contending, have a strong farm system, and financial flexibility we will be able to compare then.

  • Curt

    f*** the dodgers, well get there eventually and won’t have to spend this obscene kind of cash, hope the cubs sign at least 1 decent free agent that helps them long tetm

  • Kenster

    Cant wait for it to be 2015 and the Dodgers have a 300 million dollar payroll with the average age of there players being 35 years old. Also cant wait for tge NLCS that year when they lose to the Cubs because Grienke has anxiety attack and blows the game while getting paid 25 million. Wouldn’t that be nice to see

    • Marcel91

      It’s almost a sure thing to happen. Dodgers will learn, like other teams have, that throwing money at anything that moves is a bad way to win long term. In a few years they will be terrible….Unless they throw MORE money at people year after year.

    • John (the other one)

      I don’t think I can actively root against Greinke. Good on him. He’ll put up some great numbers pitching in that ballpark, as well as in SF and SD.

  • KYCub

    And the Cubs have just offered Josh hamilton an incentive only deal of $100 per total base. Cubs feel they have a shot to get him….

  • Corey

    Does this pretty much mean the Dempster is a lock for Chicago?

    I mean, I guess he could go to Milwaukee, but I don’t really see that happening, but that’s probably just because I’m a Cubs fan.

    • Timmy

      Dempster just wants to sign here so he can deliberately destroy the team again.

      • RoughRiider

        Timmy !!

        You’ve been listening to Ebinezer again.

  • terry

    Sorry Brett I know I said I would not post again. But everyone on the theo bandwagon is saying over time the dodgers will have aging players, and their right. But chances are they will probably have a world series title. Which to me is why the cubs with their money, should be buying some good young players off the free agent market. It only takes one world series ring to give cubs fans something they haven’t had in what 100 plus years. Their prospects may work out and they may not. But it is stupid to just throw any opportunity away. So what happens if all this prospects are second versions of city Patterson, Felix pie?

    • JBarnes

      This message is all completely off base…

      “Chances are” they won’t win a World Series. Salary has nothing to do with how good the team will be…cards/giants for example.

      What “good young players” are there that help the Cubs? There’s nobody on the free agent market that helps the Cubs for longtime success. If we signed guys like Hamilton, Bourn, Sanchez etc. they would be toward the end of their contracts and declining by the time guys like Baez, Almora, Soler etc are ready to contribute. Cubs must wait until these guys or others are ready and then add higher end free agents around them.

      The thing about one World Series ring…first thing Epstein talked about was sustained long term success. One and done is the opposite of their goal.

      It seems you have no idea what the Cubs are trying to do…the teams going to be bad for awhile, people are just gonna have to accept that. Yes the next couple seasons there are gonna players that hit free agency or the trade block that would help the Cubs right then but for numerous reasons it may not be the smartest move. Get use to a bad baseball team for awhile and enjoy watching a TEAM take shape.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      should be buying some good young players off the free agent market

      That’s a borderline oxymoron! Most of the players on the FA market are middle aged, and that’s almost impossible to avoid: by the time players get enough service time, that’s how old they are. But the bigger problem is that the available players had problems: Upton has become an out-machine who no longer fields well, Bourn lacks any power and is hardly an OBP machine, Hamilton is, well, Hamilton, Greinke is good-but-not-great, Sanchez is good-but-not-great, McCarthy has some serious health question marks, etc., Napoli is a DH, VIctorino is playing on reputation, and the best thirdbasemen available are utiltiy players or 1Bmen pressed into 3B duty. There have been many years where I really drooled over some FAs (who, of course, were not pursued by the Cubs): but this year I’m indifferent to all of them.

      In short? In 3 years time, there will be a lively debate about which 2012 FA gets the Chone Figgins award!

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        Could not agree more! Out of curiosity, would you be interested in Nick Swisher if the duration and price is right?

        • David

          Personally, I’m interested in (almost) any player if the duration and price is right. Unfortunately, there’s teams like the Dodgers who are paying way more than any of these players are worth and driving the whole market up.

          But back to your question, I would not mind seeing Swisher in right field… if he could be had for a reasonable price.

      • Internet Random

        There have been many years where I really drooled over some FAs (who, of course, were not pursued by the Cubs): but this year I’m indifferent to all of them.

        My thoughts exactly. There’s a whole lotta “meh” in this year’s free agent crop.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

          The problem is it’s going to become self-perpetuating.

          Last year, we didn’t want to sign anyone because we weren’t that great and neither was the free agent class.

          This year, we were worse and the FA class was worse.

          Next year, we’ll still be bad and the FA class should be even worse.

          • Adventurecizin’ Justin

            Next year, we’ll still be bad and the FA class should be even worse.

            Sure, but what if BJax pulls a Rizzo? What if Lake learns to be consistent in his approach at the plate? What if Vitters continues his trend of needing time to adapt to the next level? What if Szczr refines his baseball skills? What if A.Cabrera turns into a good #3 with his outstanding stuff? What if Vizcaino becomes the #2 that he was projected to be?

            I know…that’s alot of “what ifs”. But the Cubs have some talent at the upper level that just needs to turn the corner. If just a couple of those “what ifs” happen, I don’t want any “meh” free agents blocking anyone. Yes, I’m eternally optimistic…I’ve been a Cubs fan for 34 years!!

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

              What if BJax is just KJax? What if Vizcaino is a reliever like everyone outside of our organization thinks he’ll be? What if Starlin Castro has peaked at Edgar Renteria levels? What if Jeff Samardzija was a one-year blip? What if David DeJesus pulls a Marlon Byrd and completely forgets how to hit?

              Some things will go well, some things will go poorly. There’s no use wondering what will happen if every single thing goes right, because it won’t.

              • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                If you noticed, I said a couple would be nice.

                One thing that hiring Theo did was give me hope. One of things I hope Theo can do is build a system that fixes the flaws of talented players’. I feel the minor leaguers I mentioned before have talent and potential. I’m a Kool-Aider at this point…but, that could change if they can’t get some of those guys to be solid producers. They’ve proven some things with me already via Jeff Samardzija, Anthony Rizzo, and the way Castro looked after getting adjusted to a new swing. I’m just hoping more What Ifs go our way than against us!

          • Internet Random

            Some of what you say might be true (like there being less to choose from next year), but I don’t see how the fact that we’re not overpaying for lackluster talent is going to perpetuate a poor free agency class for next year.

      • Jimmy james

        And I think this is the primary reason for the way Theo and Jed are trying to build the team the way they are. Increasingly players are not making it to free agency and those that are are 32/33 or have some kind of warts in their makeup. You can supplement a good young team with one or two of these but you can’t build a team with these guys and expect long term success.

  • terry

    *cory Patterson*

  • gutshot5820

    Why all the animosity towards the Dodgers? They are throwing around money because they can and they want to reward their fans. I wish our owners would do the same, albeit more wisely. Sounds more like jealousy to me.

    Oh, and please don’t start comparing to Henry, I can make a case that we were good for a few seasons because we started spending money. If we kept on spending more money it is entirely possible that we would’ve been in the playoff picture every year. It was the no trade contracts, bad drafting and development that killed us in the end.

    The Cubs NEVER spent like the Dodgers and a better comparison would be the Yankees. Who if I recall were the most dominant team of the last decade. It is absolutely silly to say that spending smart money will get you in trouble. The people who want to Dodgers to get bankrupted are jealous because now we are the team looking up because we are spending like a small market team.

    • Ben

      I would say I’m absolutely jealous. However, let’s evaluate this at the end of the year. I still don’t know that the Dodgers are in the top 3 in the NL yet. I think Washington, STL, and the Giants are still better teams. If this buys them a WS, then it was the absolute correct move. However, I think it’s more likely they don’t win, and each year, it will get progressive tougher for them to win with all the large contracts on the books. Kershaw will get 30 million a year himself if Greinke is getting almost 25.

      • gutshot5820

        I don’t think that spending endless amount of money can buy you a World Series, ever. The luck factor once you get in the playoffs is to high. But spending more dollars towards acquiring WAR will certainly give you a better chance you are the playoffs every year than small small market philosophy alone. That being said, the rest of the NL are lucky to have Ned Colletti running the Dodgers. Put that team and the budget with Theo and you have the Yankees of the NL.

        • Pat

          The luck factor in the playoffs is seriously overblown. Since the one game wild card is a joke, I’m going to ignore that round for these purposes, but if you want to include it the odds shrink a little. With eight teams each has a 12.5 percent chance of winning if all teams are equal. Of course they aren’t, but even the very best team’s odds are maybe 20 percent to win. That doesn’t necessarily mean you are lucky if you win with the best team. It’s probability not luck for the most part. The better constructed teams are always more likely to win than the worse teams. So even if you have the best team, four out of five times you probably won’t win, but your odds are still twice as good as the team that snuck in because several people ayed above their true talent levels.

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

            I think you’ll find that the best teams do a lot worse than 20% and the worst teams do a lot better than the implication.

            • Pat

              With the unbalanced schedule, “best” is difficult as best to ascertain, but I don’t think that’s true. Do you want to base it off winning percentage differential? If so, I’d be happy to run the numbers tomorrow. Or throw out a different criteria if you want. I’d only go back as far as the eight team format for these purposes as it applies more directly.

              Most of these matchups come down to a 17 versus a dealer face card, that is a 48 vs 52 percent matchup, and by definition almost half the time the “worse” odds are going to win, because they really aren’t that much worse.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                How about percentage of WS championships won by each seed 1-8 based on record?

                • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                  and/or by WAR. In theory, WAR should be able to tell you who the best teams are.

                  Too bad I’m already gummed up by researching Epstein’s model for building a team.

                  • Pat

                    The reason I don’t like WAR for this exercise is that it is a large sample extrapolation. That is to say if 1000 player As did this 1000 times, on average they would produce x wins. It’s a great tool for choosing players to sign, but not necessarily great at showing actual value in an individual season.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      wait, what? This is the first time I am hearing this flaw in WAR.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      What I am saying is, do you have a source or somewhere I can see your original research on this?

                    • Pat

                      I don’t know that it’s a flaw, but it’s not a counting stat based on WPA or anything. In theory you could easily have a player (it would almost certainly have to be a reliever or starter who got injured) who had a positive WAR without ever appearing in a game their team won.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      ok, I get what you are saying, while I agree that WAR is a conceptually based statistic, I completely disagree on the application, since the (admittedly small sample size here) cases I have looked at typically put the total team WAR within 2-3 wins of the actual record.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                      That flaw isn’t inherent to WAR. It is evident in a lot of the various formulas that use WAR as the scale for player value, but not all of them.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      I guess if you didn’t want to use WAR you could use Pythagorean record or runs/runs allowed (which is essentially the same)? Or some other stat…

                      Seeding isn’t the greatest, though.

                    • Pat

                      I’ll start with seeding just because it’s easiest. Pythagorean has the same issue (I can’t call it a flaw) as WAR. It’s based off what would be the most likely scenario running a run differential thousands of times. For instance, if the Cubs pyhtag was 66 wins last year that does not mean they should have won 66 games. It means 66 wins was more likely than any other number. The odds of 66 wins however, are probably twenty to one.

                • Pat

                  Without any weighting on how much better one was than two, etc. it really doesn’t have much meaning, but it makes my job much easier, so we can start there.

                  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

                    I like to keep things simple.

                    • Scott K

                      Enjoying this discussion!

                      I don’t think anyone can honestly say that the best teams rather than the luckiest teams make the WS every year – in fact, I would say that the best teams very rarely make it to the WS with the current playoff structure and that luck is an enormous factor in the playoffs. Using any metric that I can think of (WAR, Pythagorean W/L, Run differential, SRS, etc.) you will basically see the end of the statistically ‘best’ teams consistently making and winning the WS in 1995 when they started the LDS. It’s even worse now with the two WCs. By opening the entry point to the playoffs, they’ve made luck a bigger factor in determining the outcome.

                      I personally see this as a major flaw in baseball right now. One of the things I love about the NHL playoffs is that many teams make it in after a relatively short season and all the series are seven games, so it’s an absolute GRIND to win the cup – the playoffs take two whole months to finish. No doubt the team that hoists Lord Stanley every year truly earned it. Baseball is different though. The grind is the regular season – the regular season really determines who the best and most consistent teams are. Before 1995, they took the cream of each league and had them square off to determine the best of the best in full, 7-game series. Only the very best teams even had a chance to make and win the WS. Nowadays, the WS doesn’t determine the best team or the most consistent team – it determines the team of the moment. In fact, I would argue that streaky teams have as good or better chance of winning the WS today as consistent teams. Of course they’ll never go back to the old playoff system, but it’s a shame. The WS just doesn’t mean much any more.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Yup, the 2006 Cardinals would agree with you and the 2009 Yankees would disagree with you.

                      It’s a case of sacrificing some of the purity of the sport (the most pure being a balanced 180 game schedule with the #1 record team being crowned champion (i.e. the old NASCAR rules) and the least pure being 16 teams making the playoffs) for what is best for the sport.

                    • Pat

                      Remember though, the 2006 Cardinals were on pace to win over 90 games before the entire team got injured in September. That was an injured team, not a bad one.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Through August 31 the Cardinals were on pace (based on R and RS) for 86 wins. Still not impressive.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            75% of LDS are won by the team with the superior Sept. run differential. At this point, that is significant. No other breakdown deviates from a coin-flip model.

            LCS and WS do not fit any model. That could be the smaller sample sizes (one half and one quarter of the series, obviously), but it also could be that the teams playing poorly (e.g, this year’s Reds) get eliminated right away most of the time.

            • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

              have you looked at # of games played in the LDS?

              Just seems too common that a team that swept gets swept in the next round by a team that had to grind it out.

              Since that sentence there is too “gutsy” “full of heart” and “scrappy” for me, I WANT NUMBERS!!!!!

              Also, I have a correlation based (and non-Cubs related) question that I think you could help me with. Can I bug you about it and are you on The Twitter?

            • Pat

              The thing is, it should be essentially a coin flip. At most the better team should have a 55/45 advantage in a given series (actually per game in a series, which does bring the overall series advantage up a little bit).

              That’s where I take issue. Given the relatively small differences in talent and a three tiered system, something would be wrong if the best team won more than bat twenty percent of the time. It’s not flawed because they don’t. It’s an accurate representation of probability.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          The funny thing is the Dodgers have (at least) 4 players (and all 4 (that I know of without in-depth research) are highly paid) that have come through the Epstein Red Sox. Gonzalez, Crawford, Beckett and Ramirez.

  • Ben

    I think the Greinke deal ensures a guy like A Sanchez of getting his 6 year 90-100 million dollar deal. Which is wayyyy too much for him IMO.

    Scares me to think what Garza will require if we don’t trade him, and he makes it through the year healthy.

    • Pat

      Since Sanchez has been as good and maybe a little better than Garza, I think it sets a reasonable scale. Certainly less per year than Garza was hoping to get. I wouldn’t want six years, but there is no way Garza was ever going to sign for less than 5/75.

  • Crazyhorse

    This time last year everybody was Blaming Theo Epstein on the contracts he gave out as the Redsoz GM and Hmmmmmmm A year later the RedSoX GM seem get those contracts gone. Wow stranger things have happen and could happen. Maybe in so many years the Dodgers will still be a awesome. Maybe thier GM will create different solutions to problems.
    Or may be they will just be really bad.

  • another JP

    So it appears that this $25M/yr pitcher now makes the Dodgers a wild card team at least. Unless they make more moves I still don’t think they have enough pitching to get them to the WS.

    I have to admit hating the Dodgers from way back in the 70s, so for me the high payroll has nothing to do with it. This is actually great IMO because high payroll teams like LA & NY typically don’t have enough money to spend to develop their own farm systems, so in about 5 years they’ll have spent about $500M more than the Cubs on player salaries and we should be very competitive with them by then.

    And while there are more frugal owners in Chicago like Ricketts, Reinsdorf, and Wirtz they’ll always be despised by those fans that think they should spend money for a championship at all costs… after all, it’s not their money that’s at risk.

    • Crazyhorse

      And its not your money either. How Ricketts runs the team will always reflect at the gate . I I remember when the Cubs – man they stank. Wouldnt pay for players and the stands empty.

      Stranger things have happen. WirgleyField in the summer is losing its appeal that equals lost revenue. To take for granted the CUbs will aways be a cash cow is as dumb as thinking that every first round draft choice will be a superstar.

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        Why are you so worried about lost revenues? Do you really think a multi-millionaire doesn’t know a thing or two about earning money? He’s attempting to build from the bottom up…that’s what smart business people do. He wants to upgrade Wrigley to make it more appealing for the fans and for future free agents…that’s what smart business people do. What do you do for a living? If you have millions like Ricketts, then go buy a team and see if you can do any better.

        • Pat

          I’m sure Joe knows more than a thing or two about making money. Unfortunately he isn’t involved in running the team. I seriously doubt any of the kids know the first thing about running a successful business. Hell, Tom’s bond company lost money ten out of eleven years.

          • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

            Several things regarding Tom’s bond company:

            1. Is it publicly traded? (If this is yes then it negates the other question)
            2. Where did you get the figures for him losing money?

            If it’s not publicly traded and you got their profitability from tax returns then that just further proves that he is a shrewd businessman. Any (non-publicly) traded company that claims a profit on their tax returns isn’t being ran as efficiently as possible.

            • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

              oops, goofed on this:

              (Non-Publicly) traded

              put the closing parenthesis after traded

            • Pat

              It’s from the video of Joe talking about why they bought the team. He mentions that Tom didn’t want to leave the bond company to run the Cubs in part because they had finally become profitable. From there it’s just a matter of looking up when the company was started.

              • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                Oh, so you’re saying that the bond company from inception to now just became profitable.

                That is actually an accomplishment in and of itself. Most (and it’s a LARGE margin) companies started fail to ever make a profit and it is typical of large companies that have hundreds of investors to take several years to turn a profit.

                Heck Facebook has yet to turn one.

                Companies churning billions of dollars don’t operate the way you or I do.

                • Pat

                  Not a profit overall, a single year profit. You’re right that some publicly held companies lose money year after year, but would you really accuse the people running them of being great businessmen? Any moron can achieve volume by selling a product below cost.

                  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                    The fact that Ricketts was able to turn a single-year profit puts him, easily, in the top 20% of businessmen in the world.

                    The tough part is being able to intelligently debate this without the financials. There is about 10 different ways to (legally and GAAP approved) keep the books that will give you 10 different answers as to the financial health of a company.

                    • Pat

                      Do you work for the government or something? Because in the private sector turning one profit in ten years usually gets your doors closed. Most successful businesses turn a profit every year.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      most successful, ESTABLISHED, businesses turn a profit every year. Start-ups are capital intensive. Again, it depends on how you keep the books on your definition of turning a profit.

                      No I don’t work for the government but I am part-owner in a business that “hasn’t turned a profit in 20 years”. I also understand the negative cash flow situation of most start-ups when you factor in paying off loans, amortizing start-up costs, etc…

                      Where Tommy-Boy falls in that 20% I have no clue but he is in there somewhere.

                    • Pat

                      “I am a part-owner in a business that hasn’t turned a profit in twenty years”

                      Sounds like my band “investments”. Although to be fair, if I could stop buying new gear for more than a month or two I might not have to say that.

                      We’ll have to disagree on Ricketts. Until I see something to the contrary I’m putting him in the lucky sperm club.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Ya, frankly, what separates the “global elite” and you and me is a crap-ton of luck.

                      My business is a farm, I was born into it. If I wanted to go into the band business I would be at a marked disadvantage to you. Luck would still apply but I would be less apt at capitalizing on that luck than you would be and vice-a-versa.

                      That is where success is determined. My Dad took over the family farm (I guess it’s been 30 years now) right before the crisis in the 80’s (terrible luck) but he had the smarts to take that luck, cut his losses in certain areas, get a factory job and ride out the storm. Our neighbors didn’t have the ability to adjust to that “luck factor” and lost their farm.

                      Heck my Grandfather didn’t possess the same attributes and lost a portion of the farm in the 60’s.

                      Translate this to baseball, most of the game is determined by luck but the teams that have the most talent are able to capitalize on that luck and win ballgames.

                    • Pat

                      Like they say, 90% of luck is preperation. And that’s why I don’t like the idea of just be good enough to make the playoffs. Having a more talented teams does improve your chances. Doesn’t guarantee anything more than a better chance though.

                      And I do have a day job, which allows me to lose money on the side.

                      I well remember the 80s farm crisis. My dad worked for Harvester at the time, and things got pretty scary (fortunately I was too young to actually realize how scary)

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Thankfully I was as well, I do remember getting hand-me-downs for Christmas presents. At the time I was as happy as (forgive the farm analogy) a pig wallowing in the mud. (more of a testament to parents really needing to work hard to “screw up” a child).

                      Still nothing compared to the 1930’s.

                      Ya, there was a discussion a few months ago about luck vs. talent vs. hard work. Luck is factor #1, from there your talent and hard work make the best of it.

                      Sounds like we were debating what shade of blue the sky was.

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        So the stands used to be packed?

        This picture disagrees with you.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Well, what this gives the Dodgers is a very potent starting rotation, with Kershaw, Greinke and Beckett. Billingsley might miss some of the start of the season (I’m not sure of his injury status), and Lily rounds it out still, I think.

      The Dodgers do still have some big holes in their every day lineup. HRam probably moves to SS, but that leaves 3rd and 2nd with low OPS guys. They do not get much offense out of the catcher, either. So, that’s a third of their lineup that probably gets negative OPS+. In the OF, they have Kemp, but Ethier has been sliding, particularly against LHP: he’s becoming Bryan LaHair. In LF, they’ll have Crawford eventually, but bunch of scrubs for a bit.

      Still, they should be strong contenders for the NLW. They will run into problems if they need mid-season trades, however: their miLB cupboard is quite bare.

      I wonder if Greinke got tired of waiting for the Rangers!

      • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

        It will be interesting after trading away their minor league roster AND gumming up the MLB payroll. They can’t really send too many bodies in a trade and they may not have the resources to simply absorb contracts.

        Go big or go home, I guess.

    • http://facebook #1cubsfan2013

      your smoking something
      2.. C. Kershaw
      3.. C. Billingsley
      4. J. Beckett
      5.C. Capuano
      6. A. Harang
      7. T. Lilly
      great rotation

      • DocPeterWimsey

        First of all, flip Kershaw & Greinke: Kershaw is the pitcher for which the Dodgers just paid. Second, Billingsley will probably miss the opening of next season due to an injury: last I read, TJ was still a possibility. Beckett will miss time because he always does. Harang is now trade bait, as is Capuano.

        heh, the good news for the Cubs and a few other teams is that Greinke might well be available in 2 years for crap prospects to any team that will absorb his contract! :-)

  • gutshot5820

    This is ridiculous, spending more money TRUMPS not spending money. Why is this concept so hard to understand?

  • another JP

    Needless to say the state of California is very happy that Greinke didn’t go to Texas. Over the time frame of this deal he’ll pay over $9M in state taxes by playing for the Dodgers that wouldn’t have been paid if he went to the Rangers. Jerry Brown should give Magic et. al. a big sloppy kiss.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Needless to say the state of California is very happy that Greinke didn’t go to Texas.

      And Texas is the team that has to be feeling really burned by this. It might seem irrelevant, but recall that last year, the Rangers posted a bid for Darvish that is thought to be over twice that of the competitors. People no doubt are going to feel if they had, say, posted $20M less, then they would have gotten Darvish by a wide margin and had more money to sweeten Greinke’s pot.

      This might up the chances of them packaging Profar for Price. However, that would then preclude using Andrus in a package for Upton.

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

    We might as well officially start considering ourselves a mid-market team again. :(

    • spearman

      Looks worse than that. Our team has a Pit., K.C., & Min. type feel to it.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        The big differences is that the Cubs will be able to afford to lock up any good talent that they produce. Part of the reason why the FA classes have gotten progressively dimmer is the tendency for teams to do what the Cubs just did with Castro: tie them up young with contracts that are team friendly if the player stays healthy, albeit disastrous if the player does not (think Chavez: he was one of the first examples!) However, those teams you listed do (?can) not do that.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      How many mid-market teams won 90+ games and/or their division in ’12?

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com/ Kyle

        Oh, absolutely. We’re not doomed by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Sanchez

    I hope that my sf giants wins the Nl west again and laugh all over the L.a dodgers , I think all these dodger contracts are going to be a regret after 3 or 4 years, What do you guys think about the idea of the cubs signing josh hamilton or Michael bourn ? ?

    • another JP

      Waste. Of. Money.

    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

      Both of those guys are going to LA.

  • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

    Good God, Cots has the Dodgers payroll at $217M for the 2013 season (with Greinke).

    They already have $168M committed for 2014. They still owe $20M(ish) to Manny Ramirez, Tony Gwynn, Jr., and Andruw Jones over the next two years.

    Odds on the next CBA including either a cap in the TV contracts or a more aggressive luxury tax? Let’s just say, it’s more likely than you needing to breathe between now and then.

  • Rich

    I keep thinking back to the late 80’s early Nineties when they bought Strawberry and Davis. That worked out well didn’t it.

    • Jealous

      rich your living in the past bro….move on

  • Jealous

    Dude, the Dodgers are going for bust but I like it. I remember going to my first cubs game against the dodgers at home driving 5 hours from southern IL, to watch them play. I remember Either was the freakin stud. 3-4 years later look at them now, they always had the swagger, they just needed the revenue. It’s pathetic. I actually like them, not jumping ship, but at least they are making moves. For everyone talking shit, cubs fans and non cubs fans, at least they are making legit moves to try to win. Miami’s moves was a complete utter failure, we all knew that shit wouldn’t amount to anything. Dodgers made a BLOCKBUSTER move which made me about crap my pants, then they sign greinke. I like it, as a cubs fan I am extremely jealous but i like it. Everyone talking shit about 2016? who cares man……….they are trying at least. WTF do we have? GARZA? hes a best 2nd, worst 3rd spot started. We treat him like he is 12 yr old female teenage royalty. Come on guys, 2015 is a STARTING point. We will continue to develop/trade our farm league and wait for the PEAK FA, signings to complement our HOMEGROWN chi town talent and THEN we will have the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot.

  • Jiujitsu411420

    I have always wanted to get a swisher jersey even back to his Oakland days. How sweet it would be if it was in cubbie pinstripes. Too bad his number can’t be 420

  • Eric

    God I hate the Dodgers. It’s akin to filthy rich people who buy everything with their money (encluding our political system) and get taxed extremely low. If the Dodger owners got taxed at the rate they were taxed under Reagen they wouldn’t be able to afford all of this, and that money would actually go into building up America.

  • Fastball

    At this point accepting facts vs wishes vs hopes is reality. the game is moving past Chicago. not competing on the scale of the lodgers will leave us so far in the distance will never catch up. you can dream and hope all you want. these owners are richer than comprehension and they will buy any asset required. baseball isn’t there business its there hobby its there toy they like mist. so you can say all you want about contracts. these deals are bliss on their radar . the cub approach is late. its the big boys who don’t blink at these genie deals Rockets will never compete on any level with these boys. they are really rich. this ix there hobby not their business. we can pray but who is listening. the man upstairs doesn’t care about the cubs. the guys who own the lodgers are laughing at Rockets and Epstein. Literally.. They are smarter than everyone else. you think they tripped and fell into their money. you can buy whatever you want if you have money.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Here’s a really crazy thought I came up with.

    Cubs could draft Frazier or Meadows at #2 and then draft only pitchers the rest of the way.(same as last year) Doing that would give them three top OF prospects. That pick could also open up a monster package for Stanton. Say Soler, Baez, Barney, Vogelbach, Shark, Vitters, and Jackson for Stanton. The Cubs would then be looking at a future of Stanton, Castro, Rizzo, Almora, Frazier or Meadows, and hopefully others through other prospects, trades, and free agency. Dumb, stupid, crazy, yeah maybe, but it’s still fun to dream.

    • fortyonenorth

      I wouldn’t give-up that much for Stanton–or anyone else for that matter. At the end of day, he’s just one guy who’s only going to come to bat four times a game and get a handful of balls hit to him. It’s not like he’s Michael Jordan and could carry the team to a championship on his own.

      • JR

        The thing people don’t talk about with Stanton is his injuries. He has been hurt a ton as a young player. I don’t see him being durable at all, as he ages. Can you imagine giving up all our prospects for him and he is baged up constantly missing games? That would be terrible.

        • JR

          *banged up