Look Out, World: Here Come the Dodgers

It’s been almost exactly 24 hours since news broke of the Guggenheim group being selected by Frank McCourt, and as you can imagine, the day has been filled with plenty of discussion about debt, parking lots, and revenue sources – and rightfully so.

Those are all eminently worthwhile discussion topics, and believe me, we’ll have plenty of time to get deeply into all of that in the coming weeks. But here’s what else we’ve learned over the last day; after years of watching this team bottomfeed for the Chris Capuanos and Juan Riveras of the world rather than get in on the big fish, observers of other teams are absolutely terrified of what the Dodgers are going to be able to do next winter.

Adam Moore, Lone Star Ball:

The Dodgers’ outfield currently consists of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and a black hole. Ethier is a free agent after the season. Hamilton is one of the most marketable and popular players in the game right now. And the Dodgers will have money to spend.

You think Magic might be at Hamilton’s house at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of free agency this year? You think new ownership might be willing to offer the type of “Jayson Werth contract” — 7 years, $126 million — that Hamilton is supposed saying is a starting point on a new deal, and that the Rangers aren’t going to come close to matching?

Most likely, this is Josh Hamilton‘s last season in Texas. I expect next year at this time, he’ll be wearing Dodger blue.

For the record, I absolutely do not want to give Josh Hamilton a 7/$126m deal or anything like it.

Jim Kozimor, CSN Bay Area:

If I’m a Giants fan, I’m nervous. Here’s why:
- If someone spends that kind of money for a baseball team it’s not just a trinket they can hold. They want to play with it.
- Long term, the Giants are now pitted against a Yankees-like financial powerhouse.
- Of more immediate concern: L.A. has to be considered a player in the Matt Cain Sweepstakes.

Henry Schulman, San Francisco Gate:

I can’t begin to guess whether this will make it harder for the Giants to sign Cain, either now or next fall. But there is no question he has the Giants over a barrel now. That does not mean the Giants should hand Cain a blank contract and let him fill in the figure. But if Cain wants something approaching market value to sign now, the Giants are probably going to have spend above their comfort level. Will they do it? I still think they will.

Remember, the man at the helm now, Larry Baer, is a marketing man. Surely he understands the wrath that the ticket-buyers will feel if the Giants do not make a competitive offer and let him walk, especially if he walks into Chavez Ravine.

Kevin Cooney, Phils-ville:

You don’t spend that type of money and then suddenly decide to go cheap. And in a town where the Dodgers brand name was king at one point, Johnson now brings instant credibility to both fans and potential free agents. And while Stan Kasten will be the baseball guy running the show and there will be others with bigger financial stakes, Johnson – who has made a fortune after his career in various business interest – is the drawing card.

And how would this impact the Phillies? Well, let’s start with a certain left-handed starting pitcher.

Lost in the injury din of the lost spring in Clearwater has been the fact that things on the Cole Hamels front have been extremely quiet. John Boggs came into town for a few days, but progress has not been reported.

Hey, who knows how many of these guys ever make it to the market, or if we even want them. But for once, it seems that the Dodgers might actually be in the market for top players rather than simply those who fall into their limited payroll structure. Other teams are already taking notice. Is it wrong to be looking forward to the 2012-13 offseason more than the 2012 season itself?

67 comments
Michael G
Michael G

Sullivan isn't useless, and Rivera is his equal. There is still a black hole in left. Sooooo...yeah, it's going to be Rivera anyway I guess.

Michael G
Michael G

There is no response to the question from anyone, so you're the troll on your own board.

Michael G
Michael G

Dumping Sullivan just seems like a MASSIVE mistake to me right now. If they're thinking about making Gwynn a regular... he would be almost useless to them offensively-- especially because they already have the speedster in Gordon. I just don't know wtf is going on in their minds right now. And again.... Oeltjin? UUUUUGGGGHHH. WHY dump Sullivan, guys?

Michael G
Michael G

They dumped Jerry Sands and yesterday dumped Cory Sullivan. Who is even going to play left anyway NOW-- Oeltjin (spelling?)? UUUUUUUGGGGHH.

Dan Zielinski
Dan Zielinski

Josh Hamilton! And you thought Manny was a piece of work.

Ken
Ken

There is no reason for Hamel to come to the Dodgers unless he is the number 1, or the number three pitcher with a great #2 being a RHP like Cain. Sign Cain before trying to sign Hamel or forget about it. Forget about Fox, et. al., create the Cable TV Channel! I know, around $3-4 per month for everyone.

Chris
Chris

Finally. The burden of being the laughing stock for the better part of a decade seems to be lifting away by hope for a brighter future. It seems almost worth it. Let's hope Colletti was truly handcuffed throughout Voldemort's tenure. It's going to be tough to get excited if we continue to land the likes of Juan Uribe, Jamey Carroll and Garret Anderson and call it gold. On an aside. Although it seems highly unlikely, the biggest acquisition we could make is prying Derrick Hall away from Arizona.

Jon#7#22
Jon#7#22

Phillips, Upton, Hamilton? Come on tell me we're not going to overpay for all those guys who won't hit nearly as well in DS and who are gonna start declining. I'm with Mike, what the Dodgers don't need is to waste a bunch of money on someone like Hamilton who is injury prone for a long term deal. They need to still invest wisely. You can't go out and spend all your money just to sign every "good" free agent, or we'd end up like the Cubs.

Paul
Paul

Thought experiment: What would it take for you to move Zach Lee?

Justin
Justin

Beyond that, the 2013-2014 offseason will be big. Colletti's ridiculous back-loaded contracts will be coming off the books. (Hopefully)

Oral Kershyster
Oral Kershyster

Does anyone not know how to react to Frank McCourt when they realized that this asswipe just made a great business decision? For a man that built an empire on debt and desecrated a charter MLB franchise comes away a rich man. He is not the winner in all this. The fans are the winner. Frank chooses the right group and will ride away into the sunset with Ned. He is rich but the fans will have a better product tor root for immediately. I hate Frank McCourt but he sure made out like a bandit. He made a great business move by acquiring the franchise years ago. The league is responsible for Frank McCourt since they sold him the team. I think this regime is going to do better. I never ask the Dodgers to be the Yankees, perennially spending and replacing top players. All I want the Dodgers to be is a smart franchise that is sustaining success with their farm system but it will be nice that they will have the option to spend to fill in the gaps with top players, not patches or stop-gaps. I don't think anyone will laugh at the Dodgers anymore.

Docnieto
Docnieto

I say we go big after Brandon Phillips, I see him being an ideal fit in our lineup. Banish Ellis to his rightful position as "Veteran Utility infielder"... Buy low on Mark Reynolds, only because David Wright will cost more than he's worth. And we might be able to get a one year deal out of Reynolds to "Re-establish his value". Re-sign Ethier (But don't go crazy with the AAV, most players are going to actually WANT to play for the Dodgers and we can use that as leverage in contract negotiations.) Take a chance on B.J. Upton to roam CF, move Matty over to RF and newly extended Ethier to Left. Then set our sights on Cain... All the while keeping our fingers crossed that McCann's extension doesn't get exercised... These of course are just fantasy... I just like the chances of two or more of these happening now that our spending power should match our market size. Oh this could be a very exciting off season indeed...

Mike
Mike

I can't believe I'm having this argument, and so after this reply, I'm not coming back here. But look, no one hates Juan Rivera more than me, and even I think it's ludicrous to say that Sullivan "is his equal". Based on what? the ZERO big-league at-bats Sullivan got last year? The .210 average he put up for the Philadelphia AAA club? The .188 he hit for the Astros in 2010? Sullivan is awful. That's why he got CUT. End of story.

Mike
Mike

Not quite. It's because you posted this on the thread that was not the most recent, so everyone's moved on. But if you weren't joking, then it makes no sense. Sullivan is useless. And you see to have completely forgotten about the existence of Juan Rivera.

Mike
Mike

This is some A+ trolling... I hope.

Paul
Paul

I think there's a serious difference. Hamilton is a recovering addict, but by all accounts a pretty good guy who's done his best to turn things around. Manny is just.... batshit crazy. Though, I tend to overlook things like that if they keep mashing.

Shane
Shane

There will be $120 million reasons why Hamels will forget about which # he is

SV Narine
SV Narine

Unless your last name is "Rosenthal", I will take your info with a grain of salt. Hell even if it was, I would still not take it seriously. Cole and Cain have been number 2s (and in Cole's case a number 3) for years now. It's just how the game works. You can't all be #1 starters. you think CJ Wilson cares that Jared Weaver is the Angel's #1?

Bip
Bip

Um, why? Hamels has a strict "no #2, only #1 or #3" policy?

The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides

He snorted $47 million over three years for Jason Schmidt AFTER Schmidt's MRI came back with a partially torn rotator cuff. He snorted $45 million over five years to Juan Pierre to play CF, then when it dawned on him that Juan couldn't play CF, he snorted away $36 million over two years to a guy who hit .222 the season before, thus blocking our future MVP center fielder. Ned Colletti with no reins on his purse strings is a scary thought if you're a true Dodger fan.

Taylor Maricle
Taylor Maricle

I don't think I've seen anyone who's not wary of Hamilton yet. Upton is overrated, IMO, and Phillips would be a great pickup.

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler

I'd think the Dodgers would need a good 1B, 3B or OF.

Bip
Bip

Products of the Yankee farm system: Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson, Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte, and those are just the ones that are still with the team.

scareduck
scareduck

I keep seeing this said in various quarters. It is the biggest miscalculation imaginable. The Dodgers' valuation is based in no small part on what Fox is willing to pay to keep the team on the air and in people's homes. There's just one enormous problem with this: cable TV subscribers are bailing out at record rates. Granted, some of this is due to the immediate economy, especially among younger potential customers (who currently experience 30%+ unemployment), but it is my considered opinion, based on empirical data and anecdote, that they are not coming back. Fox et al. have made an all-in bet that sports is the last redoubt of cable TV, the thing that will keep cable companies relevant in the era of YouTube and Vimeo. And I don't see that happening. That is, the cable TV companies will lose subscribers faster than Fox and ESPN can raise rates to compensate. These insane 20-year deals are based on nothing but pure speculation. I would not be too surprised to see them come tumbling down within a decade as the new reality of Internet-only broadcasting becomes the norm -- and we all know who is the king of that particular game: MLBAM. Now, maybe MLBAM can pay for those deals, maybe they can't, but they are currently forbidden to compete in-market with local broadcasts. I could very easily see, within the next decade, a string of TV-driven chain-reaction bankruptcies as the RSNs realize they simply don't have the revenue support downstream to make those gigantic payouts.

Jon#7#22
Jon#7#22

So you want to lockup a 2B from say his 32 year to 38 year old seasons who is hitting in a hitters park putting up around 20 HR a year? Yeah he's got pop but starting in age 32? And last 2 years he's had 18 HR. What does that translate to Dodger Stadium and a bunch of games at pet shop and phone booth park? Not worth it IMO.

Taylor Maricle
Taylor Maricle

Wait, so you want all of: Reynolds, Phillips, Ethier, Upton, Cain, and McCann? Pick two guys, at most. Not 6. Phillips and Hamels is a good duo to add. And realistic, to boot.

jeff
jeff

I agree with you on Phillips, Upton and Ethier. I would be happy with Cain or Hamels. Grienke and Hamilton are risks a large market team don't need to take. It will be nice to be linked to every major free agent and have it be a possibility to sign them instead of we tried but it wasn't going to happen.

Joseph
Joseph

There is no way in hell the Braves are letting McCann go unless he's asking for a truly ludicrous contract. Heck, even Chipper Jones has said that McCann is the type of player you want to build a franchise around. Ain't no way the Braves are letting that get away.

Docnieto
Docnieto

BTW... I assume locking up Kershaw is a no-brainer regardless of which new owner took over. It was going to happen.

onthebayou
onthebayou

Damn, Ned, you coke fiend. Snorting things away.

Jon#7#22
Jon#7#22

I don't necessarily not like Phillips and agree he would benefit the team I just hope it's not a huge overpay and for too long. For the right deal, yeah he would be a good fit.

Dave Pomerantz
Dave Pomerantz

Cano and Rivera came to the Yankees as free agents. They were international free agents, not subject to the draft - an area where the Dodgers have completely stopped spending money (until Munoz a few days ago). It's not just about spending on the high-priced MLB free agents, but also spending on scouting and international free agents.

Taylor Maricle
Taylor Maricle

But A-Rod, CC, Teixiera and Soriano kind of prove his point. Take away those 4 and give them Colletti-esque stop-gaps and the Yankees don't make the playoffs last year.

SamAdams
SamAdams

Did Jorge pull a Pettitte and un-retire? Your point is well taken, however. Look at the Dodgers. Their core players (Kershaw, Kemp, Loney, AJ Ellis, Gordon, Billingsley, and ex-Dodgers Martin and Broxton, all came from their minor league system and have ranged from outstanding to productive. Our big free agent signings, Schmidt, Andruw, Pierre, Urine...not so much. Put the money into player development, scouting, a knowledgeable GM, and shrewd sabermetric analysis, and pick your free agents wisely, judiciously, and cautiously. Guys like Hamilton and Greinke do not inspire long term contracts.

Dave Pomerantz
Dave Pomerantz

You're totally right that a major broadcasting paradigm shift is coming - just like the one that has decimated the publishing industry. However, the smart RSNs will start selling streaming services for a small subscription paid directly to them. MLBAM still won't be allowed to compete in-market, but the RSNs sure will be able to out of market. They'll be pulling in both subscription and advertising services, and by migrating online, they'll be able to offer new services that cable can't match. The money will keep rolling to the teams.

a
a

interesting post and link

Taylor Maricle
Taylor Maricle

Hey guys! He might not hit as many home runs in the future! Let's ignore OBP completely!

Jon#7#22
Jon#7#22

This. We're not gonna add 6 high profile guys. Not gonna happen, not smart.

badger3
badger3

It took a few years for McCourt the drive this franchise into the ditch. It will take a few years to get it back and running properly. Patience. Build from within, and sign the right FA every now and then. . I am not so sure about the t.v. costs issue. I am continually surprised by what sports fans are willing to put up with. Over the decades I have waited for fans to come to their senses about these rising costs of paying for $100 million contracts for out of town players that wouldn't piss on us if we were on fire. Every year the junkie fan coughs up the dough to keep these circuses running. I only go to a couple games a year (in Arizona) but I can afford a DTN and would give it a try for a year just to see if I get my money's worth. And, I still anticipate 3.5 million to show up at Dodger Stadium, though I won't be one of them.

Bip
Bip

I don't want to trade away our top prospect for only 2 years of anyone unless we have a team that is a real contender, which we don't this year and we won't have in 2013 either. I'd rather go after Votto when he reaches free agency.

badger3
badger3

It isn't that expensive to add another channel to Direct TV. I admit that to get DTV these days is costly, and I don't know if it's really worth it, but, the wife likes it and I have reached an age where I can afford it. If the Dodgers are going to get a Dodger Television Network, I would give it a go for a year just to check it out. There are a lot more older Dodger fans than you might realize. They just aren't posting in places like this. Being retired has some perks.

DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy
DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy

Dude sat/cable have become more and more worthless and the prices increase, only a sports lover with a DVR should pay for it.

Bip
Bip

Yo. Been that way my whole life. I get about 1/5 of the Dodger games on TV. It really sucks.

Jeff M.
Jeff M.

I have a job. I don't have cable. There, now you know someone!

D-F
D-F

i literally do not know one person that doesn't have cable. Jobless losers included. Fox, ESPN and Comcast have so much money, there is no way they would sleep through this transformation you speak of and not get their piece of the pie.

westontaylor
westontaylor

Offense coming from the Dodgers' farm system? Since when has offense been a sure thing, coming from our farm system? Right now, most of our top prospects are pitchers. We need to look for hitters to sign. Granted, I don't think signing Phillips to a long-term contract is the answer, and while Hamilton and Los Angeles might not be a good duo, his ceiling is higher than Ethier's. BJ Upton is also a free agent, along with Anibal Sanchez. I expect the Dodgers to pursue every possible big-named free agent this offseason. It's definitely going to be an interesting winter.

Dave Pomerantz
Dave Pomerantz

Both of which would decline in a pitcher's park as he enters his mid-30s... I'm out on Phillips, and most of the other free agent hitters. Go big after Hamels or Cain or Grienke, for a 2013 rotation of Kershaw, Hamainke, Billingsley, Rubby (remember him? he's pretty awesome), and whoever of Lilly/Capuano/Harang is still standing after a three way cage match to the death. That's a dominant starting 5, and you'd still have at least one of the last 3, plus Eovaldi for when a starter inevitably goes down for a while. Offensive improvements will have to come from the farm or via trade.

Bip
Bip

Yes, lets. His walk rate has been a steady 6.5% over the past 4 seasons, and his BABIP hovers around .290. He's not really an OBP type player, he gets his value from being a 2nd baseman with good pop and very good defense.

Taylor Maricle
Taylor Maricle

I love all the people who assume this means our payroll will be $180-200m next year, so we can just magically bribe every good free agent.

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