Categorized | Mark Timmons

Look into the future…

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!

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About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

36 Responses to “Look into the future…”

  1. Bobbie17 says:

    I’m going to call it “The Curse of the Giants.” Since Brian Wilson has been on the team, Paco has forgotten how to pitch. Howell has been so-so. The bullpen, in general, has been mediocre, at best. This bullpen, the one that’s performing now, will not win a playoff series. The starters will have to go 8+ to win. Hard to figure Paco. Youth? Overwork? Too much pressure? Too little? He is as unreliable now as he was reliable before Rasputin was signed.

  2. DodgerDude says:

    Ouch Mark! I never considered that. That could be a tough egg

  3. Badger says:

    Do the math?

    I can’t. I don’t have all the numbers, and neither does anyone else outside of the Dodgers accounting office. I must trust that the people who run the numbers at Guggenheim would win any math competitions in which we engaged.

    All the contracts are insured. I am still not understanding why this means so much to you. The thing that most disturbs me about that trade is the number of prospects we had to give up. I think since the Dodgers were obviously the only trading partners at the table, a much stronger deal could have been brokered. But that’s Jed’s modus. Always has been.

    Much of the math still has to do with the new tv deal. It’s going to be somewhere around 5 billion – right? That, play-off money and 52,000 in the park every night should pay the bills.

    You, of all people, must know that those folks at the top of this pyramid no longer fear any regulatory agencies. The SEC was de-balled, as were other regulatory agencies, during the last administration’s reign of destruction. Those 1% guys all MAKE the rules so, all that talk of SEC talk is laughable to me.

    I don’t know where all of this goes. Maybe you are right, but I suspect your foundations are all emotionally based. You gave many a powerfully emotional response when I was railing against McCourt when he first took over the Dodgers. I told you where I thought it was going with him, and you lambasted me and supported the douche. Now, you are going the other way with the new owners. I am just happy to ride this out with people who don’t manage parking lots for a living and don’t have a high maintenance wife making the calls. I like the new direction. If it all comes apart, oh well, at least McCourt is gone.

  4. Badger says:

    Brain Wilson has pitched in 9 games, and though it appears on some level he isn’t all that, in those 9 games he has posted a 253 ERA+ which is the highest of his career. Small sample I know, but, I send him out there until he blows up or shows he is ready to close again.

    Not sure what is going on with Paco, but a couple of days in the hot tub might do him some good. We have enough arms down there to give everybody some R&R, so let’s just do it.

    Dodgers rotation looks deep to start next year. Beckett and Bills back, re-sign Nolasco and all should be good. We have a plethora of bench players from which to choose. Punthairellismacher is a few mules too many. We only need a couple of journeymen. Just start looking for some solid bats and all will be primo okey dokey.

    So Matt Kemp WILL be back. Yeah, probably. But will he be able to hit anything? He hasn’t shown that much yet this year. Hope he figures it out quickly. We could use him for the push to late October.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “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.”

    “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.”

    I’m really busy right now, so I’m not going to spend much time on this. There are others on this site, I’m sure, who will respond more in depth, and quite intelligently.

    “It is what is is” and “truth” smack of something less than humility to me. I’m sure there is truth somewhere, but I’m not sure any of us (including you) know exactly what that truth is. To lay claim to the “truth”, is well….

    As for your math, I’d have to have the time to dig a lot deeper before I accepted any of it as “facts”.

    I didn’t say much above, but I’m sure some of my cohorts on this blog will fill in the blanks.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    Everything you say adds up to Dodgers are a future mess. But you didn’t speak of the TV deal. And the TV deal is certainly not small potato’s. Seems their clients are ahead of the 10-15% already and the product they purchased worth has greatly improved.

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, if memory serves that TV deal is $7-8 billion over 25 years. At $7 billion that’s $280,000,000/yr. Of course, in 25 years that may not be all that much. But ticket prices, merchandise/food prices, the price to park, and anything else they can think of, will be higher. And there will likely be postseason money. In fact, within the next 25 years there will either be a totally modernized Dodger Stadium or its replacement, also generating plenty of income. And if I make it that long, I’ll be in my 90′s. Or maybe I’ll be watching games with the Big Dodger in the Sky.

    Seems as if you were posting as I was writing before. And, of course, you filled in those blanks I mentioned.

    By the way, the Guggs folks are probably in the .001% (feel free to add additional leading zeros).

    And yeah, I hope we can count on Matt Kemp coming back this year. But I just don’t want him back. I want him back to the All Star form I remember. Not sure that’s what we’ll get (or even a reasonable facsimile). I think WILL is a bit strong. HOPE, I think is more realistic.

    As for the prospects the Dodgers gave up in the Boston deal. Yes, I’d like to have them back, but neither is currently distinguishing themselves with Boston, and I’ve never really been that high on Webster. Also, given the Dodgers new found commitment to the international market, I’m not all that concerned about losing a couple of prospects. We have others, and there will be more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t get mad about your take on the trade yesterday. I’ve just had it up to here of you going on and on and on about it.
    And why do you make everything you against the world if someone doesn’t think like you.

  9. Badger says:

    The only reason I want those prospects back is to use them in a deal for a bat.

    Still not sure about details of TV deal, but you are probably right. The Dodgers are valued where they are for good reason. I just don’t see that Marks fears are justified. Of course a lot of this .001%er business is way over my pay grade. I am just a common man whose post graduate degree is from a State University.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, agree about the prospects. And that is what prospects are for, to either use yourself or to use in a deal to get you something you need. And Badger, you’re anything but common. And my post graduate degree was from Brooklyn College, which is part of the City University of NY. Damn good school too.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Good advice, re: Paco.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgersnow/la-sp-dn

    You would have thought the Dodgers knew this was his first full professional year.

  12. Badger says:

    Chico State here Brooklyn. Damn fine school as well.

  13. Mark_Timmons says:

    A couple of responses:

    “And why do you make everything you against the world if someone doesn’t think like you?”

    Answer:
    There have only been a couple of people who have even slightly agreed with me. It does seem like it is me against the world. I am just pointing out that the deal was a bad deal, and the Dodgers are in first place, mostly for other reasons, not related to that deal. I also say that the deal will impact the team’s ability to sign free agents in the future. They not only disagree with me but they act like they know something they don’t. Feel free to disagree but expect me to stuff it in your face if you try it with me. That’s all.

    “Everything you say adds up to Dodgers are a future mess. But you didn’t speak of the TV deal. And the TV deal is certainly not small potato’s. Seems their clients are ahead of the 10-15% already and the product they purchased worth has greatly improved.”

    Answer:
    It’s not a mess… yet, but no one should think there won’t be repercussions from that deal in the future or that they can throw around money like that. At the rate, they are going, the luxury tax and payroll could eat up the TV Revenue.

    I like how they are building the scouting and player development very much – I just get sick of some of you saying over and over that they can do whatever they want because they have the money. The Dodgers could find themselves in a position in a year or two whereby they have two players whom they owe over $40 million a year, on the bench. That hurts no matter how much money you think they have.

    • Badger says:

      And the Dodgers have been paying players that NO LONGER PLAY for years now. The reason they were forced to do that was an impecunious owner. That particular problem is in the past.

      The right management team is in place. The team will make money. Player development is back in the picture. The trade was done with an immediate goal in mind and that immediate goal was immediate relevance and interest and the goal is being met. The Dodgers are again relevant and they are interesting NOW. It’s all good Mark. If guys go down the contracts are insured. If guys suddenly become bad the team can just write off the contracts as bad debts and move on. That is what billion dollar corporations do. In the mean time 50,000 a night come to park in LA, advertisers are lining up and the team is marching to the play-offs.

      Happy days are here again. Smile big guy. It’s a Blue Day!

    • Quasimodo says:

      Okay, I’ll concede that a madness exists, and that madness is way above my head. Hell, talks of signing a pitcher for $200+ million is madness and I can’t even pretend that I grasp its meaning. Its amazing that murder doesn’t enter the picture when some of these players don’t perform to expectations. I admit its all Greek to me. My end of this game is simply turning on the channel that the game is on. I see your points. Its happened to every team in MLB. I’m amazed Cubs franchise is ranked 5 in value. Just another point of how little I know.

  14. Badger says:

    Just look at the Cubs new deal with WGN Quas. It’s not as lucrative as the Dodgers deal, but its huge. Big market = big bucks.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    If you like how they are building scouting and player development, then you must understand that the long term plan is to develop talent from within, and only use free agency to fill in the gaps. The reason they did the Boston deal was to make an immediate impact, with the long term goal being that such deals would be less necessary in the future. In fact, if it wasn’t for McCourt, that deal would likely have been unnecessary, since we probably would have had Prince Fielder in place at the beginning of last year. Yes, I know the Dodgers made a run at Fielder towards the end, and may have even gotten the deal done if Victor Martinez hadn’t been hurt. But the bottom line is this. The current ownership would have been in on a Fielder deal from day 1, and most likely would have gotten it done, maybe even before Martinez got hurt.

    Yes the Dodgers will have to pay Kershaw and others. And so too will other teams be forced to offer large contracts to their franchise players. In that respect the Dodgers are no different than everyone else. Also, in the short run, the Dodgers will be getting rid of bad contracts to Lilly, Uribe, Harang, Capuano, etc. Those were contracts for second tier free agents for which the Dodgers overpaid under McCourt. And gone too will be Manny, Andruw Jones (after next year), and some other McCourt legacy deferrals.

    All in all, this team is headed in the right direction. I’m sure there will be some missteps, but overall I believe we’re in good hands. You can call Kasten and company morons, but that doesn’t make it so. In my estimation these are very smart people with a long term plan in place. As they get further and further away from the McCourt era, that plan will become evermore visible. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see evidence of it this winter. I think the Dodgers will spend money where they feel it’s necessary, but I don’t think they will be throwing the stuff around as if it were just so much paper.

  16. Badger says:

    We’re both saying the same things we’ve said repeatedly since “the trade” was made Brooklyn. Mark’s mind appears made up because he too is saying the same things repeatedly.

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    In the last 10 games, only the Dodgers and Padres have a winning record in the NL West at 6-4.

    But the Dodgers look terrible right now.

    Mark’s Kershaw is pitching and getting bombed already. No, no-hitter tonight.

    Althought Homer baby, is on track for a no-no.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    You know, the way the regluars are playing for the Dodgers, I would change and put in the minor/B squad and let them know, no fear.

    I would throw out there:

    Butera – c
    Van Slyke – 1b
    Punto – 2b
    Gordon – SS
    Young 3b
    Schumaker – Lf
    Ethier – Cf
    Puig – Rf

    and call it a day.

    Then the next game, throw Fedex at them.

  19. Badger says:

    Umpires. They just have to project themselves into the game. That most certainly was NOT a balk.

    Kershaw struggling – again.

  20. Badger says:

    Swing at strikes dammit!

  21. Quasimodo says:

    Almost a sure sign, when Hanley smiles here it comes!

  22. Bball says:

    It’s amazing. Kershaw goes 7 and gives up 2 and that’s a bad outing. 95% of other pitchers in the league would love an outing like this.

  23. Gionfriddo says:

    Mark has banged on the trade since it was made. Saying that A Gone is in decline is simply a asinine comment. Gonzalez leads the team in RBI (87) and there’s a good chance had Puig & Ramirez been in lineup from day 1 he would be well over 100 ribbies… bottom line, he’s a run producer..

    “Do the math”? for right now I’ll pass and let the highly successful money mangagement guys at Guggenheim “do the math”.. I’m fairly confident they have an extremely well thought out plan for the business side as well as the baseball side…

  24. Badger says:

    It appears we are all in agreement on this.

    These are two evenly matched teams. The Reds are in a playoff chase, with Kershaw and the Dodgers in town and they don’t sell out. That’s a damn shame.

  25. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Run scoring is still a concern.

    Regarding Agon. He there was a time when he was a very patient hitter.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gonzaad01.shtml

    Not so much anymore. When he was up earlier with a couple of runners on and was ahead in the count, he swung at a pitch clearly out of the strike zone, and bounced into a DP. And of course, Hanley was on deck. As good a year as he’s having, it could be a lot better if he was showing some patience. And tonight is not the first time I’ve noticed that.

    Hopefully this is just a lull, and they’ll pick it up. But pitching or no pitching, they’re not likely to win if the offense remains this anemic. Even Kershaw and Greinke can’t win if they don’t get any support. And Hanley can’t do it alone. Matt Kemp getting back, finding himself and staying healthy may well be critical for this team.

  26. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Oops! “He there” should be just “There”.

  27. Badger says:

    Time to put the West to sleep.

    I still think we can win the close ones. This was a playoff atmosphere, except for the empty seats, but it wasn’t a playoff game. Yes the offense has some holes in it. It has all year and we put together one helluva run. We can do it again.

  28. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I hope this is just a lull, but the fact is, when this team started winning at the end of June, a lot of it had to do with some injured players coming back, e.g., Hanley and Crawford, and the emergence of Puig. That offense was generating a lot more runs than what we’re seeing now. Without Kemp, a really productive third baseman, and an outfield not generating much power, the Dodgers offense is challenged. And we’re also not getting the production we were previously from Ellis and Ellis.

    Finally, this offense will have to put it together against much tougher pitching in the postseason. Yes, we’ll probably put the West to sleep with the magic number down to 10 with 20 to play. But the postseason is a whole new season where we have to win every series. If we can score 4 to 5 runs per game we can do that. Anything less could spell trouble.

    Guess I’m glad the Dodgers are flying west, and gaining 3 hours. It would be a lot tougher flying in the other direction after playing a night game on getaway day.

  29. jerry says:

    the hitting stoped when donnie started resting his player…he seem to do that when a hitter is hot ..never wait,s till they cool off..

  30. Yo! Adrian says:

    You are comparing A.Gon’s career low with Loney’s career high. In 2011 season -Even after the surgery, A.Gon put up 6.3 WAR. That’s his class.
    Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford are all big time talents. You never know the future, but the differential of the talent exist between the two group, and they bought the possibilities.

  31. grumpy3b says:

    The Guggenheim have forgotten more about investing than EVERYONE here combined. Has it not occurred to Negative Nellie that odds are to purchase the Dodgers the deal was structured to insulate from the very factors cited WRT return on investments required by law? Would you not follow the same path? You know perhaps buy seeking funding from existing investors in the Guggenheim? with the correct contract I have no doubt the purchase could be held by Guggs but exist appart from the primary / core business, perhaps only until the team business model, infrastructure and revenue is stabilized? Or it may just always exist as a prestige holding apart from the investment core?

    It is likely MLB would require or ask the judge to make sure such insulation/protection was setup before OK’ing the final deal? We would never be made aware of such aspects if for no other reason it’s none of our business nor should we give a crap. For fans itis JUST A GAME, let it go and be the game we all grew up playing and love to this day.

    For me though the pro game began to die more each day when contracts became pretty much public and the press began constantly insinuating themselves into the process by spending more’mktalking salaries than baseball.

  32. grumpy3b says:

    Typo:

    …The Guggenheim have forgotten more about investing than EVERYONE here combined. 
    +
    … knows about investing…

  33. Badger says:

    Solid post grumpy.

  34. jhallwally says:

    Once again, you are spot on.. This team and ownership are treading a thin line…

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