When the Los Angeles Dodgers were taken over by the Guggenheim group, they showed an immediate willingness to spend on players. No more was that evident than the team leading the Majors in payroll in each of the past four seasons.
What’s perhaps been more impressive, however, is the Dodgers simultaneously restocked a farm system that quickly became one of the best in all of baseball. It’s produced the likes of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, all of which were All-Stars in their rookie seasons.
In the case of Seager and Bellinger, they both were a unanimous selection for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
During a recent appearance on “Lunchtime” with Roggin and Rodney of AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio , Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten commented on the strength of the organization’s farm system while explaining the advantages that come with developing players:
“I’d much rather have a team of homegrown players,” Kasten said. “Yes, they coincidentally happen to be cheaper. But most importantly, historically, they perform better, they get hurt less, and your team does better. That’s why we have always focused on that as our first alternative if we can do it. But, as we’ve shown, when we have a need to fill, whether it’s through trade or free agency, we’ll do that too and that has not changed.”
The Dodgers farm system still features some of the top prospects in baseball, including right-handed pitchers Walker Buehler, Yadier Alvarez and Mitchell White, outfielder Alex Verdugo and catcher Keibert Ruiz.
More so than just about any other team in the league, the Dodgers have been unwilling to trade their top prospects in recent years despite being involved in discussions for All-Stars like Chris Sale, Chris Archer and Giancarlo Stanton.
That further adds to Kasten’s belief in homegrown players like Seager and Bellinger leading the franchise into the future.