Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

dodgers sign all the playersThe family went to a Lego-fest kinda thing yesterday, and it was pretty fun to see the gigantic things people can make out of Legos … when they have computer support. The kids especially liked the absurd pile of Legos the organizers poured into the middle of a convention center, allowing the kids to swim in the Legos, to make Lego angels, to have Lego fights, and occasionally to try to separate well-stuck-together Legos using their teeth. Can you use hand sanitizer on teeth?

  • This weekend, the Dodgers reportedly inked a couple Cuban prospects for a total of $21.5 million, which was an enormous and notable amount in its own right (remember: Eddy Julio Martinez got $3 million from the Cubs … three). But it’s when you consider the signings in the context of what the Dodgers have done, overall, in this signing period that you start to become blown away by just how SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS they now are. Forget for a moment all the other Cuban players the Dodgers have signed over the past few years – Yasiel Puig, Alexander Guerrero, Erisbel Arruebarruena, and Hector Olivera (about $150 million) – and just consider the IFA players they’ve signed since July 2: it totals more than $44 million in bonuses. Not only that, but the Dodgers have also traded away most of their bonus slots, leaving them with a spending pool of just $700,000. So that’s basically all overage, which means they’re going to pay another $44 million in tax.
  • That means, even before the next wave of Cuban prospects signs, the Dodgers will have spent more than $88 freaking million on IFA prospects in this period. To put that in context, the Yankees’ spending last period, which was seen by some as an affront to the system, was shy of $27 million (plus tax). The Cubs’ blowout the year before was shy of $10 million. The typical team spends $2 to $6 million in international free agency. The Dodgers are spending MORE THAN $88 MILLION THIS YEAR. Wrap your head around that. It’s like carrying a $300+ million payroll, plus paying a huge luxury tax hit, when the average team is spending closer to $100 million. Oh. Right.

  • Make no mistake: the Dodgers have an enormous financial advantage over every other team in baseball outside of New York, and they’re using it very, very aggressively.
  • Now, then, the impact the Cubs is a serious bummer, because they cannot realistically spend $21.5 million – plus tax – on the kinds of players the Dodgers inked this weekend. Nor can just about any other team:

  • There are still several excellent Cuban prospects available, and hopefully the Cubs can land some of them. But I wouldn’t put it past the Dodgers to just keep spending and literally sign any prospects of note, offering double what the next team can pay.
  • Also, since this has become the Dodgers Bullets already, I’ll mention that they’re expected to hire Dave Roberts as their next manager. I can only assume he will receive $50 million annually on a 100-year contract, because why not? I’m half expecting to receive a $100,000 check from the Dodgers any day now because they’re just sending them out randomly to folks in the mail. (/bitter)
  • Over at BIF, Mookie Betts could be a professional bowler. And the Seattle Mariners’ Twitter could be a professional crazy person. Both of those things are very good things to be in the context from which they emanate.

  • Cubs on Amazon: Got your stockings ready to hang above the fire place? No? How about a Cubs stocking?
  • And if you missed anything from a very busy, very rumor-y weekend, catch yourself up here.

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