When the Guggenheim Group assumed control of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, promises were made that the new ownership would do everything in its power to get the team back to prominence. That plan included stadium renovations and a substantial increase in player payroll, which began with the mega-trade with the Boston Red Sox. In one swell move, the Dodgers added more than $250 million in player salaries with the acquisition of Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.
Going on three years removed from the largest trade in Dodgers franchise history, the Associated Press reports via ESPN the club will own the highest payroll in all of baseball for the 2014 season, projected at $235 million. It brings an end to the New York Yankees’ streak of 15 years as top spenders. Not only are the Dodgers expected to finish ahead of the pack, it’s by a large margin, according to the Associated Press:
New York, which last failed to top the payroll rankings in 1998, was a distant second at $204 million. After that, it was another huge gap to Philadelphia at $180 million, followed by Boston at $163 million and Detroit at $162 million.
Since the large trade in 2012, the spending has continued. Yasiel Puig was signed to a seven-year, $42 million contract despite being out of baseball for one year and more recently, ace Clayton Kershaw signed his own seven-year deal worth $215 million. The Dodgers have also continued their investment in international players, particularly Cubans, signing both Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero to lucrative deals. Zack Greinke and Brian Wilson were other beneficiaries from the Guggenheim group’s perpetually deep pockets.
The recent signings were added on to the large contracts already on the roster, which includes Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, who are two of the team’s top-10 highest paid players. With seemingly no end in sight, Hanley Ramirez appears to be the next Dodgers star in line for a lucrative deal.
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