Stan Kasten: Dodgers Staying Beneath Luxury Tax ‘Secondary’ To Winning
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided splashy signings this past offseason, and instead, further bolstered their depth with under-the-radar acquisitions.

The club passed on the opportunity to trade for reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, deeming his contract too hefty to assume. The Dodgers also saw Yu Darvish depart for the Chicago Cubs on a contract that they reportedly came close to matching but not without contingencies.

Facing severe financial implications for exceeding the luxury tax threshold in five consecutive seasons, Los Angeles ultimately prioritized getting beneath the 2018 luxury tax threshold.

They accomplished that goal in one fell swoop by unloading the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy to the Atlanta Braves.

By remaining under the self-imposed limit, the Dodgers will reset all penalties just in time for a stacked 2019 free agent class that may include the likes of Josh Donaldson, Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machaado.

Despite the club’s inactivity, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten reaffirmed that fielding a winning product was a higher priority than slashing payroll, via Bill Ladson of

“It was secondary to our long-term planning. Our job is to win this year. That’s always the primary goal. We are well-positioned by doing some payroll maneuvering. We think we are also better positioned now to be competitive and successful in the future. Being able to accomplish both of those things was very useful for us.”

Falling one win short of a World Series championship in 2017, the Dodgers return the majority of its core from a season ago. That allowed the organization to better position itself for future payroll obligations.

Whether it’s re-signing young stars Cody Bellinger or Corey Seager, or even splurging on the aforementioned names scheduled to become free agents this winter.

Earlier this offseason, Kasten explained his preference of maintaining a roster full of homegrown talent, rather than relying on free agent signings every winter.