Not long after the Guggenheim ownership group officially assumed control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the club added over $250 million in salary in a mega trade with the Boston Red Sox in August 2012. The blockbuster deal was a breath of fresh air for a franchise that’d endured lean years.
While the trade signaled a new era for the Dodgers franchise, president and CEO Stan Kasten regularly stated the team would not continue to add on salary at such a prolific rate. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has creatively used the financial prowess to complete trades.
But such was not the case on Friday when Howie Kendrick was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Kendrick was is entering last of a two-year, $20 million contract, and in return the Dodgers received Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Dodgers general manager said the club took into account shedding Kendrick’s remaining salary:
It is unclear whether the Dodgers would use that money to acquire a second baseman or sweeten a potential offer to free agents Kenley Jansen or Justin Turner, although General Manager Farhan Zaidi cited “financial flexibility” as one motivation for Friday’s deal.
Los Angeles is believed to have varying levels of interest in re-signing Joe Blanton, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. In particular, Hill, Jansen and Turner figure to be in line for substantial contracts.
Kendrick became expendable in part due to some struggles this season amid a diminished role. Chase Utley became the club’s everyday second baseman, and Kendrick’s playing time in left field began to wane as Andrew Toles emerged.
Though, with Kendrick no longer on the roster, the Dodgers don’t have an answer at second base, as Utley is currently a free agent. Left field isn’t necessarily settled but the club is in better position to address that area, given the array of outfield depth.