Just this afternoon, I was at lunch with a friend and the subject of the Los Angeles Dodgers came up. Sure, they don't seem to have any holes this season. But looking ahead just a bit, what about third base and second base? Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis are both a) not likely to be around next season, and b) old. The Dodgers can't just wave a wand and replace them with good players, can they?
No. Not exactly. What they can do is write checks. Really big checks.
Cuban infield prospect Alexander Guerrero is closing in a multi-year deal worth $32 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to industry sources.
The pact is expected to be between five and seven years. An official announcement is expected this week.
From Aaron Gleeman's take:
Because of the spending limits put in place with the draft and (most) international prospects dropping huge money on Cuban players is one of the few areas beyond MLB payroll where the Dodgers can really take advantage of their huge revenue edge and they’re smartly doing exactly that.
Frankly, I'm not sure how much "smartly" has to do with it. At this point the Dodgers are simply identifying the players they want, then spending whatever it takes to get those players. They seem to be the only franchise that simply doesn't operate under any financial limits.
These days, if you have no financial limits, you've still got four pretty good ways to spend your millions:
1. Take on other teams' bad contracts (Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez)
2. Sign from the limited pool of major-league free agents (Zack Greinke)
3. Sign from the limited pool of Cuban defectors (Yasiel Puig, Guerrero)
4. Lock up your good young players forever (Clayton Kershaw, pending)
That's a lot of ways! And the Dodgers are taking full advantage of all of them. Guerrero's supposedly going to take over at second base next season. But who knows? Maybe he's the new shortstop, Hanley Ramirez shifts back to third base, and the Dodgers outbid the Yankees for Robinson Canó. Probably not. But would anybody be shocked, really?
Nothing lasts forever, and eventually the Dodgers' billions will somehow weigh them down. But gosh, they sure look good for the foreseeable future.
For more about the Dodgers and their trillions, please visit SB Nation's True Blue LA.
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