More Thoughts on the Dodgers’ Front Office and Luxury Tax Threshold

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Earlier this week, news came out that the Dodgers‘ front office was looking to keep the team under the luxury tax for the next four years.

This thought was not well received by the fans of the Boys in Blue, as they had just endured back to back losses in the World Series. In addition, the most recent defeat was to a team in the Boston Red Sox that spent whatever was needed to win a championship, even though they had just done so five years prior.

One train of thought could be that the front office is doing well conserving money and still building a team that was able to achieve back-to-back trips to the World Series. Regardless of winning, that is indeed a difficult thing to do. Fans remember well the Frank McCourt era where massive contracts were given/taken on and the team did not perform well in the least. Friedman and Company have focused their efforts on home grown talent and getting cost-efficient additions to the team, while still maintaining a top level organization.

But, just being good isn’t everything. Fans are desperate to see their team win it all, and watching them fail two years in a row has only increased that yearning. In fact, the Dodgers have been close every year for the last six years without breaking through, each season only deepening the heartache.

When the front office announced last winter that the 2018 season would be about getting under $197 million in payroll and resetting the luxury tax, most fans understood. They knew that this winter, there was going to be a huge free agent class, in addition to Clayton Kershaw being able to opt out of his current contract. Presumably, the front office would be ready to finally spend to get the Dodgers to the glorious land of being World Series Champions.

But now comes the news, in a strategic plan shared with investors, that the Dodgers intend to be conservative for the foreseeable future. It could be that this is a new strategy for top teams, as both the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have indicated that they both would be taking this approach as well. It could be that management all through the league is undercutting the salaries of its employees. That thought is better left for another blog post.

Regardless of the reasoning, if the Dodgers fail to put together a super dynamic team that can win the World Series, they are seriously running the risk of alienating their fans. The Dodgers are number one in attendance every season, and those that don’t attend have found ways to watch the game even if they don’t have the required cable company. Dodger fans in Southern California and around the world deserve a championship sooner than later, and this front office would be wise to keep that the main goal and not saving cash by staying under the luxury tax.

 

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4 thoughts on “More Thoughts on the Dodgers’ Front Office and Luxury Tax Threshold

  1. Hey Andy, have you read Colletti’s book? If not, I recommended it.

    Just a quick wiki read on Ned:

    “During his tenure with the Giants, the team had an 813–644 overall record (.558), winning an average of 90.3 games per season. He was hired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005. During his tenure with the Dodgers (2005-2014), Colletti had the highest winning percentage of any general manager in the National League.”

    Ned gets a bad rap and I don’t believe he deserves it.

    To your post – even if the plan is to remain impecunious I don’t think it’s a good idea to go public with it. Everyone knows, or believe they know, how deep the Dodgers pockets are. To come out early with a statement like this feels like the middle finger to all loyal Dodger fans. I feel the same way about the team’s spending as I do about taxes. Hey, it’s OUR money you are spending. How about you spend it making sure we are ok with the continued funding of your little empire?

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  2. Hi Andy,
    Sorry if this is a bit off the current topic, but I had planned to respond to one box your previous articles with suggestions about who we my add, like in house might be OK at 2nd base, but what about free agents Asdrúbal Cabrera, DJ LeMahieu or even Daniel Murphy?
    I was also going to mention other issues regarding trades, etc., but the thing I really wanted to respond to is your use of the term “trade fodder.” I know it’s a term thrown about, but I find it completely disrespectful. I know we want to build a winning team and all, but a team is made up of people. Some of these “fodder” are people who came up through the organization and some of us have grown to like them as people. I thought maybe I’m being too sensitive, but a dictionary definition seems to strengthen my argument. It defines fodder as ” people considered as readily available and of little value.” You will do as you wish, but I feel like the use of that term is not only disrespectful, but lazy. It may be an easy term to use, but how we feel about a player like Joc Peterson or Yasiel Puig or others is relevant, as is how they feel about being a Dodger. It’s true that they have no power to prevent it, but they shouldn’t be thought of as a piece of flesh like a side of beef to throw around. Trading some of them would be sacrifices we have to make to improve the team, but there are emotional consequences. Maybe a trade actually helps a player by giving him more playing time or he’s closer to his family and home town. Either way, they are not fodder they are people.

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    1. Don’t ya think MLB’s average annual salary of $4 million per player compensates for a modest blogger causing a prospectively emotional consequence for using a “hurtful” label? They get slighted much worse. Even the players themselves will tell you that it comes with the territory.

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  3. Calm down guys, don’t forget it wasn’t that many years ago that the McCourt era reigned in LA. Guggenheim has brought the Dodgers back from the brink of disaster and given us championship level baseball every year tho falling a bit short. Our payroll is still one of the highest in all of baseball.Let’s give the Dodgers the entire off season to see what magic they come up with. We don’t need some 14 year contract that will cripple the organization for years to come! That’s Artie’s thing!

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