A story in the Los Angeles Times quotes one of the team’s owners as saying the Dodgers plan a massive cut to their payroll in 2016.
“We’re looking toward building something long-term, and sustainable,” Todd Boehly told the Times. “I think sustainable is more like the league average, plus some. Maybe plus a lot.”
“A lot” is a vague term. But the league average payroll was $140 million in 2015. The Dodgers had a payroll of $271 million last season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, and currently have $198 million committed for 2016.
Boehly said he expects the final number to be closer to $200 million than $300 million.
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Of course, it will help that Los Angeles will be off the hook for about $40 million it paid Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Brian Wilson and Matt Kemp.
But even with those reductions, it seems the Dodgers will be unlikely to be a major bidder on the free agent market this off-season which will, hopefully, keep costs for players from spiraling out of control.
It seems, if Boehly is true to his word, the Dodgers may have their hands full trying to hold on to Zack Grienk who opted out of his contract in hopes of a bigger payday as opposed to bidding for players the St. Louis Cardinals may have interest in including retaining Jason Heyward or signing a pitcher like David Price or Jordan Zimmerman.
The New York Yankees in recent years have reeled in the free agent spending. The Anaheim Angels seem to be a little bit leery of the market after getting burned in the Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson and Josh Hamilton mega deals, the New York Mets haven’t been big spenders in five years and now the Dodgers say the bank is closed.
Maybe it’s just posturing on the part of the Dodgers who are trying to stop agents fro looking toward them for giant paydays. But it would be nice if the big boys put their money where their mouths are and refrain from driving baseball prices into the stratosphere.