The Los Angeles Dodgers last season carried a $300 million payroll, which lent to criticism writing itself whenever the team struggled.
However, while the Dodgers were technically on the hook for the exorbitant figure, it included salaries paid to players no longer on the team.
All told, the Dodgers’ payroll for those who remained in the organization was closer to $200 million.
There has long been talk from Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten and team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman of moving toward a roster built on prospects, which invariably would reduce payroll.
Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly recently spoke of moving toward a payroll that is more “sustainable.” He did not specifically state what amount that would be, adding roughly the “league-average” figure was more desirable.
While the Dodgers have implied a slash in payroll is forthcoming, one rival general manager doesn’t believe it to hold true, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
“They’re not reducing their payroll,” one skeptical GM from a rival team whose payroll is dwarfed by that of the Dodgers.
A significant reduction may not come this offseason, with the Dodgers said to have free agent Zack Greinke as their top target, plus a need at second base, and a desire to upgrade the bullpen.
Despite no longer being responsible for the salaries of Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Brandon League and Brian Wilson, the Dodgers’ expected spending on MLB free agents and arbitration-eligible players should again run their payroll north of $200 million.
They’ve already committed more than $80 million on international signings (penalties included) during the current signing period. Moreover, there’s always the possibility Los Angeles will take on salary if it means greasing the wheels in order to complete a trade.