After the Guggenheim group purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, the organization was quickly turned into a financial powerhouse. Money didn’t appear to be an issue nor a deterrent to upgrading the roster and Dodger Stadium alike.
In 2014 the Dodgers surpassed the New York Yankees for the highest payroll. It’s a position Los Angeles has since held, even with their efforts to trim away at the bloated salary number and rely more heavily on home-grown talent.
Now entering their fifth season under Guggenheim ownership, it was recently reported that the Dodgers must reduce debt in order to comply with the MLB guidelines.
President and CEO Stan Kasten largely dismissed the claim though, explaining the organization is operating well within its means and in accordance with league rules.
While that may very well hold true, those on the outside have begun to develop a different perception, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN:
A major league source indicated that there is now a developing perception among both teams and potential free agents around the game that the Dodgers could be under some financial stress. Kasten reiterated that nothing could be further from the truth.
That could come back to haunt the Dodgers in the free agency, which may prove crippling as the club has multiple needs that must be addressed. Most notably, re-signing Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, and adding to the starting rotation.
One strategy the Dodgers could deploy with new contracts doled out is backloading salary to ease any concerns MLB may be developing.
However, the league did issue a statement to downplay the matter after speculation ran rampant of the Dodgers being in financial trouble and thus unable to spend with any sort of significance in free agency this winter.