A lot of you didn’t like my take on “The Trade” yesterday. Tough! It is what it is. When you get angry, I know I’m close to the truth. The fact of the matter is that the Red Sox sent the Dodgers $270 million in contracts and the Sox replaced the production with just $80 million. Someone asked if I wanted Drew over Ramirez as our SS – OF COURSE NOT! Ramirez was not part of “the deal.” Both the Dodgers and Red Sox are in first place, that is true, but I would argue that being in first place has more to do with the $295 million in contracts they acquired for Ryu, Greinke, Ramirez and Puig, than getting A-Gone, Crawford, Punto and Beckett.
Look, Adrian Gonzalez is a nice guy, but his production has declined and will keep declining. Punto is a utility guy – they are a dime a dozen (he has done a nice job though and I’d keep him another year). Maybe Beckett will provide some production, next year… or maybe not, but $17 million is a lot to pay a #5, and Carl Crawford’s contract is a boat anchor, no matter how you spin it.
The $295 million in contracts to Puig, Ryu, Ramirez and Greinke are what made the Dodgers what they are. But to put in in perspective, would you rather have $270 million to spend and have James Loney, Rubby DeLaRosa and Allen Webster to work with? I am just saying that the Dodgers could have done so much better with the amount of money they spent. Essentially they got a part-time left fielder who is above average and a solid first-baseman for $270 million. You can say Loney wouldn’t hit .303 like he is this year, but he has been near that in the past – he just had a bad season last year. He’s married and settled in and his stats are pretty similar to A-Gones!
As maligned as Andre Ethier is, his WAR (2.9) is more than Adrian Gonzalez (2.5), which is slightly above James Loney (2.4). Carl Crawford’s WAR is 2.7, but he’s delivers the least bang for the buck.
Going forward, both Crawford and Gonzalez will decline in production rather dramatically, but the Dodgers payroll will go up as they have to extend Hanley Ramirez ($125-150 million), Clayton Kershaw ($225 – $300 million), Kenley Jansen and other young players. They will also need a 2B (Guerrero? – $35 million?) and a 3B.
So what? you say – they have the money. Well, they do and they don’t. With two or three years over the soft salary cap, they will have to pay $60-$75 million in luxury taxes a year (that buys a couple of superstars), but the biggest problem is going to be Guggenheim Partners and the return they must make on their investment. They are a financial services firm that falls under both the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) and many Insurance Commissions and regulatory agencies.
See, Mark Walter put in $100 million of his own money. Magic Johnson put in $50 million of his money and I am sure both expect at least a 10-15% return a year. That’s $22.5 million. Not a big chunk, but here’s the killer: That still leaves $1.85 Billion that was provided by Guggenheim Partners and they will need a minimum of 10% return on that, meaning that somewhere between $185 to $277 million will have to go back to Guggs and Company to keep the regulatory agencies off their a$$. If they don’t show a profit for their clients when everyone knows the Dodgers are their own “toy,” there will be big problems. Guggs doesn’t want that so they will have to return a lot of money back to their clients.
Do the math. I have. There’s not as much money as you think, and the next time you criticize someone make sure you have the facts.
On another note, Clayton needs to win tonight to break the streak and prevent a sweep. The nation is watching.
P.S. Matt Kemp will be back this year. Count on it!