When Magic Johnson and company took over at Chavez Ravine in March, no one really knew what to expect from the new owners in terms of money and their willingness to spend.
Well, now we know.
In a little over four month's time, the Los Angeles Dodgers have become the biggest-spending team in baseball, their very expensive, luxury-tax-busting summer shopping spree culminating in this weekend's gargantuan nine-player swap with the Red Sox.
Prior to June 12, the day Andre Ethier signed his five-year, $85 million extension, the Dodgers had just $91.5 million on the books for 2013 to be meted out to fifteen players. With now a little over a month left in the 2012 season, the Dodgers have twenty-one players and a jaw-dropping $182 million committed to their 2013 payroll, $50 million more than the next closest team.
Of the twenty-one players under contract, nine are owed over $10 million and another four are guaranteed upwards of $5 million. No other team in baseball has more than seven players at over $5 million next season, and none has more than thirteen players under contract overall. Possibly even more striking, not included in the payroll numbers is the combined $11.5 million the Dodgers will still be paying Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones next season, pushing the total number closer to $200 million.
Where the ownership group is coming up with this kind of money---and whether Ned Colletti's new-found blank check will result in a playoff berth---is still very much an unknown. What is known is that the "spend-money-on-anything-but-the-team" days of Frank McCourt are over.
What do you think of Dodgers' new approach? Will their money get them the returns they are hoping for?