Playing in a major market such as Los Angeles, it comes as no surprise the Dodgers are set to repeat as the team with the highest payroll in baseball. Aside from fielding a competitive team as a result of the big spending, the Dodgers are also second-most valuable MLB team, as recently announced by Forbes.
The Dodgers’ payroll for this season will again exceed $250 million and the Dodgers added to it this week with the expected signing of Hector Olivera to a six-year, $62.5 million contract. While a large payroll has evolved from a trend to a constant under the Guggenheim group, the front office continues to maintain the extravagant won’t continue.
Head of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman commented the perception of the Dodgers seemingly spending with no bounds, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
It’s funny. I don’t really look at payroll numbers as if they’re actual dollars because we have parameters to work in,” he said. “It’s more that whatever the band is that you’re operating in – whatever it is, whether you’re a small-market team and the band is X or you’re a large-market team and the band is Y, we’re just trying to put the pieces together and construct our roster in the best way we possibly can.”
Stan Kasten agrees that the Dodgers need to put the best team on the field possible and isn’t concerned with hitting a certain number on the payroll sheet, but again stated the club is still focused on rebuilding through their farm system, as opposed to consistently relying on free agency:
I think they are not a part of the kind of team we’re trying to build long term,” Kasten reiterated this week. “I’ve also said we don’t shoot for any particular number. We are trying to build a team that is sustaining through the (farm system) pipeline. Those kinds of teams are invariably younger teams. Younger teams are also cheaper. But I don’t talk about (payroll) numbers. We don’t have a number in mind. We want to put the best team out there.”
The new front office is no longer solely focused on immediate success. While winning a World Series in 2015 is undeniably a goal of the Dodgers, the future of the club is equally as important. The Dodgers may not have made the splashy signing during the offseason, but they added to the overall depth in the organization and retained their top prospects.
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