Dodgers News: L.A. Must Trim Payroll In Compliance With MLB Debt Guidelines
Todd Boehly, Stan Kasten, Mark Walter
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers organization and fan base endured a dark period during Frank McCourt’s final years as owner as the club was dragged into a heated divorce and bankruptcy. In accordance with MLB, McCourt orchestrated the sale of the Dodgers.

Entered Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that purchased the storied franchise for a record $2.15 billion. Immediately after taking control of the Dodgers, Guggenheim moved to reinvigorate the fan base by adding over $250 million in salary in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.

From there, Zack Greinke was signed and Clayton Kershaw received a contract extension. The lavish spending grabbed headlines, but ownership maintained the strategy was not part of the long-term plan.

Now the Dodgers face a deadline to trim their debt as the fifth year under Guggenheim approaches, per Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:

The Dodgers, who have spent more than a billion dollars on player payroll in the first four seasons of Guggenheim Baseball Management, face a mandate to reduce debt in order to conform to Major League Baseball rules.

The appearance is there’s plenty of work to be done in order for the Dodgers to meet MLB guidelines:

“We’re not talking about, ‘Let’s reduce our payroll by $40 million and we’ll be compliant,’ ” said a person familiar with the team’s finances but not authorized to discuss them publicly. “They have hundreds of millions in debt.”

Aiding the Dodgers’ efforts is the focus president and CEO Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman placed on restocking their cupboard of prospects. Rated the top farm system by Baseball America, the Dodgers’ pipeline has already produced the likes of Joc Pederson and Corey Seager.

Cody Bellinger, Jose De Leon, Julio Urias and Alex Verdugo are among those to follow. Of course, trimming payroll this offseason doesn’t figure to be an easy proposition with Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner being free agents.