Dodgers News and Notes: Downsizing, New Possible Minor League Affiliations and More

There’s still not much going on in the world of the Los Angeles Dodgers as far as player news goes, but there are some things going on in the organization.

In the only player update, Cody Bellinger underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair his dislocated right shoulder. He popped out his shoulder celebrating a home run by bashing arms with Kiké Hernandez in Game 7 of the NLCS. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. He is expected to miss 10 weeks, but should be back to being able to compete by Spring Training. Bellinger took to Instagram to report in after the surgery, saying “shoulder is feeling great the surgery went great” and that he’ll be ready for Spring Training.

The Dodgers were the latest team to implement organizational-wide layoffs. The team avoided them earlier in the year by having a tiered scale of salary reductions. The highest paid personnel took the brunt of the loss of pay to help the organization retain all of its employees.

This week it was announced that the Dodgers were no longer able to sustain this model. The Dodgers issued the following statement:

“While the Dodgers had a championship season, the organization has not been immune from the widespread economic devastation caused by the coronavirus.

“Since March, we have worked hard to minimize the impact on our employees. The ongoing economic crisis, however, forces us to make difficult personnel decisions throughout the organization, going forward for the 2021 season. This is a heartbreaking decision. This year, more than ever, we are truly grateful for the role each member of our Dodgers family plays in our success.”

The minor leagues have also not been immune to loss of wages, games, and employees. The whole minor league season was scrapped due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Changes to the Dodgers’ minor league system might also be coming. Today rumors surfaced that the Dodgers will no longer be affiliated with the Great Lake Loons and Ogden Raptors. They may instead have a High-A team in Spokane, Washington. The official announcement will be made in early December.

On Thursday, the Dodgers, along with the Dodgers Foundation and Smart & Final, hosted their 16th annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway at Dodger Stadium. 1,500 holiday meals were distributed to not-for-profit organizations to be further distributed to families in need across the greater Los Angeles area. Turkey and fixings were also provided to pre-selected students in the Dodgers’ “Community of Schools,” which is a strategic community partnership to improve the education and wellness of students trending schools and living in the areas surrounding Dodger Stadium.


11 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes: Downsizing, New Possible Minor League Affiliations and More

  1. I haven’t seen any figures as to how many employees were let go or how much that saved the team but I’ll be surprised if it’s more than a couple million dollars (which, I might add, does not count against the luxury tax). So they’ve let these people go and will probably now go out and spend somewhere between 20 and 50 million in salaries adding players for next year. If each player and exec gave up 1% of their 2021 salary, that might pay for all the employees they just let go. I may be totally off on my estimate as to how much total salary those folks were making, but if I was even close, I think my plan would have been a good one.

    1. Hi Jeff. I read somewhere else that the Dodgers lost $100M this year. That is a lot of money. The model for owners of sports teams has long been, little cash flow compared to amount invested, but a big payoff when selling the team. The bigger fool theory. Has the golden age for professional sport teams in America ended? I see NFL and NBA ratings are way down and continue to decline. I never saw television ratings for the MLB playoffs, but didn’t really look either. Have you? It appears to me, now is a very uncertain time. If I had a few billion invested in a sports team and just lost $100M, I’d be tightening up, like it or not, that’s capitalism.

      I am a long time Dodgers fan, grew up watching Koufax, Drysdale and Wills. Followed the Dodgers ever since. I live in Reno and often times took my kids to Dodgers games at SF. Wanted them to be Dodgers fans instead of Midget fans. Happily, they are Dodgers fans, but not die hard Dodgers fans. They’ve got lots of other entertainment options and baseball is down the list for them (and their friends). They didn’t even have that much interest in this years playoffs. Surprised me, with all the other things that have been lost because of covid. Antidotal, but real. It’s a rapidly changing world.

      I’m real curious what player prices will be this offseason and how teams handle the new reality. I wonder what employees were laid off, scouts, development personnel? Anybody know? On the bright side, the Dodgers look set/able to handle the present day situation better than most. Except maybe the new multi billionaire New York Mets owner, who has a new toy.

      1. Reno, the biggest little city in the world!
        I’m here in the San Fernando Valley so don’t have to duck when I wear a Dodgers cap. Thanks for fighting the good fight for us up north.
        As I recall, WS ratings this year were down dramatically. Maybe not being able to attend sporting events in person reduces people’s interest in watching on TV. I find that strange, but it’s the best explanation I can come up with. We’ll see if ratings come back if/when Covid is behind us. I’m hoping things will be totally normal by the 2022 season.
        I agree that all teams have taken a hit but that we’re as well set up to handle it as anyone. We’d better be ready for the day, though, when Steve Cohen grabs a free agent we wanted. When you have an individual owner with ridiculous amounts of money who has been a fan of his team’s for his entire life, that does tend to lead to some heavy spending.

      2. I’m originally a Granada Hills guy. Moved here in 1983. It was a lot easier to fight the good fight against Midget fans before those three championships. Prior to that, I could always immediately shut them down with “How many championships do you have?”. I miss those days.

    2. I’ve been curious and too lazy to look for the answer, did guys like Price, who chose to sit out the season get paid? Or did they just forfeit a year of salary on their contracts? Anybody know?

      1. Price did not get paid. Guys who chose to sit out gave up the $. I did read somewhere where he stated he planned to play in 2021 but with the pandemic roaring out of control again, he might change his mind. I guess we’ll know come ST.

  2. Games ended at the earliest 11:30 east coast time and some after midnight. Very long games, caused, not by pace of game, but excessive commercials. Back in the day, when world series games were played in the daytime, there was tremendous interest. Everyone was talking about what was going on. Sitting in my living room at midnight is not quite the same.

    1. The Dodgers have been in the WS 3 of the last 4 years so there were always going to be late games for east coasters. I think that Tampa probably just isn’t as big a draw as some of the other teams which didn’t help viewer numbers any. But I’m sure the pandemic played into it as well.

      I know if I lived on the east coast, it would be hard for me to stay up that late at night, especially if I had work the next day or my team wasn’t playing. As you mentioned, when the games were played during the day there was great interest, but then a huge amount of the potential viewing audience was at work. No easy answers here I guess.

  3. I think there might be a little news today. Don’t they have to submit the names of players they are going to protect from the rule 5 today> >????

    1. Yes they do Bear, and as far as I know they have 7 spots open on the 40-man, although I doubt they’ll use them all. I think the deadline for setting rosters is 6PM east coast time.

      1. Correct. There are 33 players on the active roster as of this morning. I do not think they use more than 4. too many holes to fill externally. And the Arenado to LA rumors are heating up. Bowden thinks he will be a Dodger by Christmas.

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