Ever since the Guggenheim Group bought the Los Angeles Dodgers two years ago, they’ve outspent every team in baseball. Whether it was trading for the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Boston Red Sox or signing starter Zach Greinke for six-years and $147 million, the Dodgers now have the largest payroll in baseball.
The “new Yankees” haven’t spent quite as much this off-season and the actual New York Yankees are back to their old spending ways, committing close to $500 million in contracts this off-season. After Masahiro Tanaka signed with the “Bronx Bombers” Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com spoke to Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino about their spending habits, but mentioned the Dodgers habits:
Pretty much no, Lucchino said. I’ve asked him that before. These guys want to win and they want to win now. Money is not an issue. I suppose potentates in other leagues around the world want to do that, too, but it’s a different business plan than we have. They don’t want to win any more than we do. They’re just not as concerned about reasonable spending as we are.
Lucchino was asked if he’s picked up the phone and asked Dodgers president Stan Kasten why he’s spending so outrageously, but it’s clear he’s not a fan of teams spending money just to spend. It’s hard for the Red Sox to paint the picture of a small market team as their payroll came in fourth overall on Opening Day last season.
Dodgers ownership said from the get-go that they needed to catch up for the McCourt era, when the Dodgers didn’t have a payroll above $120 million during his tenure from 2004-2012. Also, Kasten says the team is close to being in Phase 2, which is developing their farm system and getting younger in certain areas.
The Dodgers will continue to be criticized as long as they keep their payroll above $220-$230 million, but if the Masahiro Tanaka bidding is any indication, they won’t be spending money just to do so in the future.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week In Review Video