It has been reported a couple times that the Dodgers’ top two priorities this offseason are to become younger and cheaper. The two kind of go hand-in-hand, as most big contracts tend to go out to proven/older players, but the risk always remains whether the team can continue to compete without said proven talent.
All that said, it sounds like (and this is according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports) some rival executive will believe the Dodgers are cutting costs when they actually see it.
Based on the quote provided in the article, it sounds like the Dodgers, themselves, are less hell-bent on it than originally reported/freaked out about.
Here’s Stan Kasten responding to a specific goal he’d like to approach in terms of payrol:
Responding to a question about word of the payroll coming down, Kasten responded, “I never spoke about the payroll. And I don’t intend to ever talk about payroll. Our goal, articulated on day one, was to get to be self-sustaining through our minor-league player development system. When we become that kind of team we will naturally be a younger team, but the foremost goal remains to be a better team.”
We wrote earlier this offseason that competitiveness and spending isn’t directly connected to how competitive a team can become. Kasten is speaking to that in the above quote. That said, if the opportunity presents itself to spend wisely in order to improve the roster, it sounds like the Dodgers won’t pass it up for some line in the sand in payroll, which is good to hear for fans and why one rival executive said something like this, early on in the same article:
“They’re not reducing their payroll,” one skeptical GM from a rival team whose payroll is dwarfed by that of the Dodgers.
It was always hard for me to believe the Dodgers were playing the market so cheaply considering how deep this free agent market is. In other words: sure, it’s smart to cut payroll and sustainability is always a smart goal for any business. But when the means to that end is to draw a line in the sand with one of the best pitchers (Zack Greinke) in the history of the franchise, the end game sounds less intriguing.
Now, this is only one report to the contrary of others that have all stated the Dodgers’ goal to this point, so take it what I’m about to say with a grain of salt, but more-so now than at any point this offseason, I feel comfortable believe Greinke will return.
That, in and of itself, is something that should calm the waters at least somewhat in Dodgers Nation.