According to Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers’ 2015 payroll projects to be an MLB-high $262.6 million. That includes players who are unsigned and eligible for salary arbitration, and players with 0-3 years’ service time who have not yet reached agreement on a 2015 contract.
The $262.6 million an estimate. So is the $275.2 million we estimated recently using a different methodology ($10 million combined for all 0-3 players, rather than $500,000 per player). As with all estimates, take each of those numbers with a grain of salt. Gather enough grains together, and you get a sense for the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that the Dodgers are still baseball’s biggest spenders. From the Yahoo! piece:
Nearly two-thirds of the teams in baseball could start the season with $100 million-plus payrolls, with the Dodgers, Yankees ($210.9 million) and Red Sox ($180.5 million) all certain to exceed the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. Rounding out the top five payrolls are Detroit ($168.8 million) and World Series champion San Francisco ($160.7 million).
The biggest salary jump comes in Seattle, where the Mariners’ offensive additions bumped their payroll to an estimated $122.5 million, more than $30 million ahead of 2014. The Dodgers are second at $27.3 million, though in reality they’ll actually be spending less on players in their uniform this year: they’re paying a combined $37.5 million to cover the salaries of the released Brian Wilson and the traded Matt Kemp and Dan Haren.
Switch-hitting Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has a 105 OPS-plus in his career batting right-handed and an 88 OPS-plus batting left-handed. (Getty Images)
Don Mattingly addressed the media yesterday for the first time since the Winter Meetings. I posted a bunch of videos from his interviews here. My story about the impending center-field competition is here.
Mattingly addressed a number of topics after my video recorder ran out of memory, or unfit for print. One was the catcher position. Continue reading →
Joc Pederson gave a seemingly mundane interview [above] to MLB.com today, talking about his personal development as a hitter and the rookie development camp going on this week in Los Angeles. Two things to keep in mind about what he said:
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Dodgers will “definitely be a player” for free agent Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, confirming earlier reports. You can hear that full interview here.
One more reason to click on the link to the interview: At the end, Zaidi comments on GM Dave Stewart’s assertion that the Arizona Diamondbacks are a “true baseball team” because their decisions are not driven by analytics.
Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi were known for embracing analytics in Tampa Bay and Oakland, respectively, before coming to the Dodgers. How will their approach toward analytics impact manager Don Mattingly?
Catcher A.J. Ellis batted .191 in 93 games for the Dodgers last season. (Associated Press photo)
The Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth a reported $4.25 million.
Ellis, 33, made $3.55 million in 2014, when he batted .191/.323/.254 in 93 games. The new contract would make Ellis the 12th-highest paid catcher in baseball, not bad for a player who has yet to hit free agency.
The Dodgers will retain six of their minor-league managers in 2015 while adding a fourth coach at every level.
Damon Berryhill (Triple-A Oklahoma City) and Razor Shines (Double-A Tulsa) will be moving to Oklahoma with the club’s top two affiliates. P.J. Forbes (Single-A Rancho Cucamonga) and Bill Haselman (Single-A Great Lakes) won’t change addresses. John Shoemaker (Rookie-advanced Ogden) and Jack McDowell (Rookie-level AZL Dodgers) will switch positions.
We’ll be getting comments from Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler shortly. Here is the Dodgers’ complete 2015 minor league coaching roster:
Twenty-seven prospects will invade Dodger Stadium this week for the club’s annual winter development camp. (Associated Press photo)
Eighteen-year-old pitching prospect Julio Urias, who was invited to his first major league spring training last week, will take part in the Dodgers’ winter development camp for prospects this week at Dodger Stadium.
The other 23 participants include pitcher Zach Lee, who also took part in last year’s camp and spent all season at Triple-A. Pitchers Carlos Frias and Daniel Coulombe, who earned their first major league call-ups last September, have also been invited. Another pitcher of note is Ross Stripling, who underwent Tommy John surgery in spring training of last year.
Urias isn’t even the youngest invitee. That would be Michael Medina, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic who is 12 days younger than Urias. He finished last season with the Rookie-league AZL Dodgers.
Shortstop prospect Corey Seager, 20, was invited to spring training but was not invited to the camp.
A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on
One question was posed to me several times this week: Are the Dodgers done making moves?
No. Ask Andrew Friedman or Farhan Zaidi or any GM, and he’ll say his work is never finished. There’s always an intriguing minor-league free agent somewhere (see: Chin-Hui Tsao), an injury waiting to happen. Some person or event will inevitably shift a team’s needs. Baseball is a dynamic sport. The only constant is change.
OK, so the Dodgers have made a lot of moves recently and thrown around a lot of money in the process. But how much money, and where have all those moves left the 2015 club?
Here’s what got me thinking about this. Zaidi has already said that obtaining an eighth inning-type reliever is something the Dodgers will look at, either via trade or free agency. As I wrote yesterday, if the Dodgers have reason to be concerned with their roster, it might be what happens with the ninth inning if Kenley Jansen is hurt or sputtering.
Then I tried to figure out how adding a proven eighth-inning pitcher, someone who would cost more than your typical middle reliever, would impact the Dodgers’ current roster balance and payroll. That’s when this little thought exercise got messy. And complicated. Spreadsheets were needed. God help you if you’re a non-roster invitee trying to make this team out of spring training.
The Dodgers’ payroll is bursting at the seams because of pricey former players and potential 25-man roster guys. Still.