The Dodgers Winning The Title Could Cure Baseball In The Future – Part 1

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn't kidding.  The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL - Time in the MLB.  With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few year, he was right.

Magic Johnson said the new ownership group would put their money down on the players to stay or come to the franchise, and man he wasn’t kidding. The Los Angeles Dodgers now own 5 of the top 23 player contracts of ALL – Time in the MLB. With a total team payroll likely to be north of $240 MIL for the next few years, he was right.  The team is presently the highest salaried team, and they will pay about $16 MIL in Luxury Tax, based on 30% penalty for $51 over the $189 MIL mark in 2014.  Their cash infusion to the NL has spawned a rapid ascent for other teams in the Senior Circuit  – who are looking just to keep up, while some franchises have no chance at all with their revenue streams.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how the Dodgers were going to change the way the MLB operates.  I may be proven right this fall.

4 of the top 5 clubs were alive in the LDS round

1.  LA Dodgers $240.7 MIL

2.  NY Yankees $227 MIL

3.  SF Giants –  $172.4 MIL

4.  Detroit Tigers – $170.5 MIL

5.  LA Angels – $170.5 MIL

Jayson Werth was given a 7 YR/$126 MIL by the Nationals prior to the 2011 season with Washington.  It was a signal the club was about to compete, and came on the heels of several draft picks as a result of poor finishes.  The club have selected Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephe stras

Jayson Werth was given a 7 YR/$126 MIL by the Nationals prior to the 2011 season with Washington. It was a signal the club was about to compete, and came on the heels of several draft picks as a result of poor finishes. The club have selected players like Jordan Zimmermann, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa through the draft, and added Free Agents like Werth, Adam LaRoche and Rafael Soriano to supplant the team’s talent with depth.  The squad has seen a rise to the top of the baseball standings overall the last 3 years, and as such, the dollars doled out for contracts have steadily risen.  This year they climbed all the way to 8th.

The Nationals are 8th at $141.6 MIL, the Cards are at an ALL – Time High paid for a year in 11th – with $128.1 (still more than $17 MIL higher than any other NL Central franchise.

The Baltimore Orioles are at roughly $109 MIL, and right in the middle of the pack at 15th.

Kansas City is sitting at 20th. with an overall salary of about $95 MIL.

The ousted Wild Card teams of Oakland (21st at $94 MIL), and Pittsburgh ($72.9 MIL) rounded out the playoff squads.

Unless KC wins the World Series, it would mark another campaign a team in the top half won the World Series.

I am all for parity, and adding the two Wild Card teams have certainly opened up the playoffs to all teams that make the postseason, but it is still not a conducive way to run a business.

The LA Dodgers, who face the Cardinals tonight in the LDS, have spent more than $112 MIL than the defending NL Champs.

That is essentially Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, Brian Wilson, Josh Beckett and Brandon League as a difference in cost.

Some of the guys were acquired during trade, with Greinke and Wilson being the only Free Agent deals, however the other players were virtual cash dumps from other franchises.

So why I am bringing this up?  Simply like I stated 2 years ago, the Dodgers are operating smartly on taking advantage of the Luxury Tax Threshold.

Last year, they only had to pay about $7 MIL in penalties, on a 1st time offender of the system, rolling out a $236 MIL squad with a 12.5% offense charge on 58 MIL spent over the $178 MIL limit.

For those keeping score at home that is $50 x 12.5% or about $6.3 MIL.

In 2014, the limit has been raised to $189 MIL, and the organization has doled out $240 MIL.  At a 2nd time offender (30%), this will run them an additional $17 MIL or so, but that is not exactly a deterrent.

The Guggenheim Consortium (managed my Magic Johnson), can draw 56K per contest at Dodger Stadium, and have signed the best TV deal for a team in MLB history.

The Yankees, who were stupid enough to not fall under the salary threshold, to qualify for a reset on their penalty, are now stuck with an added bill of about $19 MIL for the 2014 season.

As abusers of the Tax ongoing for every year of the latest CBA, they pay 50% of the cash over the limit.

Alex Rodriguez, comes back on the board with his $27 MIL Annual Average Value of his contract, plus any bonus incentive he hits in his contract towards legacy HRs.

New York has $170 MIL committed to about 14 players next year, and are up the creek without a paddle, and will continue to pay that penalty every year.

They could have reset, and then had a $300 MIL payroll in 2015, with what would only amount to about a $14 MIL penalty.

One of the franchises will take this to the next extreme if not stopped when the new CBA is bargained after the 2016 season.

The Dodgers winning the Fall Classic will start an outcry of fans not cheering for the team, and similarly to the New York Yankees winning the titles in the early part of the millennium, it will leave some fanbases devastated.  Thus creating a better chance of making sure the new CBA has stricter enforcement on team spending limits.

The Giants have already been caught in the web of competing with the Dodgers.  San Fran won its 1st title since it moved to the Bay, with about a 1/3rd of the payroll it currently possesses.

Like the Dodgers, they do have some homegrown players. but have definitely added in Free Agency/salary dumps.

Teams like the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and Arizona Padres have the toughest challenge ahead of them usurping these two behemoth clubs.

The Angels are skipping right up to the upper portion of not paying Luxury Tax Penalties, but they won’t be able to fight off the escalation once Mike Trout‘s new deal kicks in for next year.

The Halo’s needed to cash in on the World Series this campaign, or need a plethora of inexpensive talent to keep surrounding Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Trout and pitchers C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver. past this year.

Arte Moreno’s franchise will be like this year’s version of the Yankees in a year or 2.

Much like San Francisco, the Nationals core nucleus came from draft picks, before the club spent money on Free Agents like Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche and Closer Rafael Soriano.

Washington has the majority of their guys under contract for the next 2 years or so, but it will soon find themselves unable to sign guys, for fear of heading towards the cap.

The Detroit Tigers have won 4 straight Division Titles and may go to the ALCS for the 4th straight campaign during 2014.  They have lapped the AL Central in Spending.

The closest squad to them is KC at $94 MIL, which is almost half of what the “Motown Boys” are shelling out on player contracts this year.

Yes, they will be leveled off a little by losing Max Scherzer and/or Victor Martinez beyond this year, but who else thinks they won’t be the favorites to win the Division again next year?  Especially since the Royals will lose James Shields.

Baltimore has done the best job of constructing their team based on their payroll.  It all has coincided since the arrival of Buck Showalter, but the management deserves some credit for some brilliant trades.

Like Pittsburgh, Washington and KC though, this team was bad for about a decade,  prior to them starting to win.

Piling up high draft picks will eventually make you a competing organization again.

It is what the Twins, Cubs, Marlins and Astros are trying to do right now.  This is another reason why you have to respect what Billy Beane has done.

The A’s have not had bad teams from 2000 – until now. Sure they struggled from 2007 – 2011, yet they never finished with less than 74 wins.

Minnesota used a brutal 1993 – 2000 stretch to be one of the better teams in the 2001 – 2010 decade.  The Rays never had a winning season until year 10 in 2008, as they finally became great by continuous high picks.

The Dodgers could have been doing this spending thing years ago, if it weren’t for inept ownership.. The same kind of men at the helm as currently preside over the Mets franchise.

One thing spending money does – is it almost ensured you never have a bad year record wise.  The Bronx Bombers have not had less than 84 wins since the 1992 year.  Each campaign they have practically led in payroll.

Again, some clubs have been brutally managed lately like the Phillies.  But they still has 11 straight years of winning,until the last 2 years have blown.

Boston has bookended their World Series with last place finishes in the AL East, but maybe prepping up for another title run, and will have the means to go for it financially, without any recourse.

I give it to them, they have shed cash at the end of the 2012 and 2014 years, which has given them payroll flexibility to reload again.  Boston has already shored up it’s OF for 2015, with Yoenis Cespedes Rusney Castillo  and Allen Craig.

Before the Trade Deadline, each one of BoSox players beyond the grass, failed to have 500 AB in the year, and were never on that kind of pace.

You can bet your bottom dollar they will sign 2 significant Starting Pitchers as well.

If Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels would have met in the ALCS, and the Giants had locked horns with the Dodgers in the NLCS, this would have seen  the #1, #3, #4 and #5 payrolls of the MLB in the FINAL FOUR.

Part of me hopes for this, so we can stop having those people brisking at the brilliance of “MLB Parity”.

You really can’t point to playoff spots as being an “I told you the MLB is competitive card.”

All you have to do is look at the Division Winners.. The Dodgers, Tigers, Angels and Nationals were in the top 8, and again, the RedBirds had the highest NL Central payroll.

if you took the Dodgers out of the NL West, and switched them with the Oakland A’s in the AL West, the Giants would have won the NL West.

Baltimore is the outlier with the 15th spot in team salary.

If the Dodgers win the title this season, it marks a 26 year drought coming to an end, but it may pave the way for financial culture change in the near future.

Many enough of the fans and teams will protest about the inequalities in the cabbage paid out in the high markets, as opposed to the low market teams.

I highly doubt the MLB would implement any form of a salary cap.  Major League Baseball is the only entity out of the 4 big sports (NFL, NBA and NHL) that doesn’t have a limit on team spending to ensure cost certainty.

Heck, the brass in New York haven’t even balked at the Marlins and Astros peddling out 4A Rosters and Payrolls at certain points over the last few seasons.  Someone is asleep at the wheel, while Allan ‘Bud’ Selig is retiring.

Join us back for Part 2 being written shortly.  This one entitled “Why Kansas City or Baltimore winning the World Series would be good and bad for baseball”.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are in the names that are among the top 23 highest paid contracts signed of all time.  Kershaw's deal made him the highest paid pitcher in history.  However, unless this organization brings home a championship or 2, the alarmists won't come out of the woodwork as much as they should.  Baseball needs a salary cap to prevent outspending problems in the future.

Clayton Kershaw is the highest paid player on the highest payroll of the Majors with the Dodgers. Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are in the names that are among the top 23 highest paid contracts signed of all time. Kershaw’s deal made him the highest paid pitcher in history. However, unless this organization brings home a championship or 2, the alarmists won’t come out of the woodwork as much as they should. Baseball needs a salary cap to prevent outspending problems in the future.

 *** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at http://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/
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