Ken Rosenthal, Howard Cole, Dustin Nosler, and others are criticizing the Dodgers for taking the full two weeks to finalize their decision on Trevor Bauer. I do not understand that mentality. Why shouldn’t the Dodgers do whatever they could to mitigate their losses? They couldn’t get anything done with him, and they decided to part company. It is time to move on from Bauer, but I do not for a moment believe that they should have done anything differently as long as their desired outcome was to get Bauer out of the organization. Take all of the allotted time.
I also think that Rosenthal’s comment on the Nationals immediately releasing Starlin Castro after his 30 day suspension was over was specious. Castro was released September 21, 2021, with about $1MM left on his contract, playing on a team that was going nowhere. They were the 6th worst team in MLB in 2021. Starlin Castro meant nothing to the Nationals, and would not have been valuable to any other team. Would they have acted similarly had the accused been Juan Soto? Now please, I am not for a minute suggesting that Juan Soto is capable of any domestic violence issues. My only point is whether the Nationals acted on principle or were influenced by the quality of the player involved.
Trevor Bauer could be a difference maker for a team looking to win a championship, so any comparison to Starlin Castro is baseless. One only has to look at Comments Closed for both MLBTR and The Athletic when writing about Bauer’s fate with LAD, to know how divisive this topic is. It is obviously incendiary to many on both sides of the argument. But the Dodgers did nothing wrong with trying to mitigate any losses they would incur.
Now what? Are the Dodgers really trying to stay under the CBT threshold. Depending on arbitration outcomes, they could be over the threshold now. Two different publications have calculated Freddie Freeman’s deferred portion of his contract differently. Roster Resource calculates Freeman’s AAV to be $24.7MM, while Spotrac calculates his AAV to be $25.8MM. What is the correct calculation? One of the largest estimated numbers is, Estimated salaries for players not yet eligible for arbitration and other players with non-guaranteed contracts. Spotrac and Roster Resource calculate the amount to be $8.64MM, while Cots estimates it to be $5.1MM. What is the actual amount? That will not be known until after the season. Arbitration hearings are coming up, so we will know what the salaries will be for those ten players in short order. Those could push the Dodgers over the $233MM payroll threshold.
For my calculations below, I have included the highest salary estimates for both Freeman and for the pre-arbitration players. I have also included the arbitration figures as determined by Matt Swartz for MLBTR.
As it currently exists, the LAD 2023 payroll for AAV purposes is estimated to be $232,249,124, or a miniscule $750,876 below the CBT threshold. If Noah Syndergaard throws 150 innings this year, that shortfall will be exhausted. Thor has three IP thresholds whereby he can earn $50K for each threshold reached of 130 IP, 150 IP, and 170 IP. If Thor pitches as the Dodgers are hoping he does, then add $1MM to the payroll, and the Dodgers are over the CBT threshold and will be over for the third consecutive year, incurring the steepest tax penalties.
AF needs to accept that he overspent on some frivolous players’ contracts, and now has to “pay the piper”. Trevor Bauer, CT3, Blake Treinen (this year), Max Muncy (this year). Not to mention Danny Duffy, Jimmie Nelson, and Cole Hamels in prior years. These contracts can come back to bite you in the a**. Now they need to make a decision as to how to move forward.
It makes no difference in the tax percentage penalty for the Dodgers if their payroll is $1 over $233MM or $19.999MM over. Thus, if they anticipate going over at all, they might as well go up to $253MM so as to improve their team and their chances at a 2023 World Series Championship. The taxes they would incur are not onerous for the Dodgers. The Dodgers will lose Bauer’s $22.5MM, Syndergaard’s $13MM, Muncy’s $13.5MM, JDM’s $10MM, Blake Treinen’s $8MM, Daniel Hudson’s $6.5MM, Shelby Miller’s $1.5MM, and maybe Urias and Kershaw.
If they want to stay under the threshold, either CT3 or Muncy will need to be moved. There is no other way out of the dilemma they now face.
I do not truly believe the Dodgers primary reason for getting under the threshold is to have a clear path for Shohei Ohtani. I am not all that convinced that they will be a favorite going after him. $500MM? That is so not the Dodgers or Andrew Friedman. Instead, they can go all out for their own…Julio Urias. Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty will be FA next year, and the LAD pitching Yoda might do wonders for those two. Max Fried, Corbin Burnes, and Brandon Woodruff the year after. Amed Rosario will be available next year.
The Dodgers still need to make up for the loss of offense due to Trea Turner and Justin Turner moving on, unless they believe that James Outman, Miguel Vargas, JDM, and an improved Max Muncy can make up for that loss of offense.
Should the Dodgers make a serious effort to trade for Bryan Reynolds? Is there another OF who the Dodgers might acquire? Should they sign Andrew McCutchen or Adam Duvall and keep their 77 RHP prospects? Should they improve their bullpen? Andrew Chafin is still available, along with fellow LHRP Matt Moore or RHRP Michael Fulmer. Are there any LAD relief prospects that should be put into the bullpen this year? Should they sign Michael Wacha or trade for a starting pitcher and move Gonsolin to the pen (or Syndergaard if he does not prove himself as a SP)?
AF/BG have options. Right now they are in no-man’s land and need to make a decision. What would you recommend they do?
The Dodgers just signed their whackiest MiLB long shot. RHRP Taylor Scott to a MiLB contract. If the Dodgers turn this guy around, they are truly magicians.
AJ Pollock signed a 1 year $7MM deal with Seattle.
Just read about Pollock. Good signing for them, a veteran who has been there and done that. If he is healthy, he should help the Mariners a bunch. Bauer is now persona non grata. Time to move on. If they decide to go over the CBT. make a trade for an established player.
Freidman is smart to sign AAAA level players, it provides vetter depth than having to use a AAA level player that’s not ready
That’s Tayler Scott, with an “e”, Jeff. We need to get the spelling correct because he’s going to be this year’s Cy Young winner.
And, being from South Africa originally, he’s probably a close friend of Elon Musk’s.
I cannot even say that I simply mistyped his name. I knew he was from South Africa, but apparently not how to spell his name. Oh well, it must be time to hang up my blogger card.
Take that! BETMGM has the Dodgers and Mets at +350 favorites to win it all.
Since the 40 man roster is full they need to make a trade, no? Trading Taylor or Muncy or a combination of players’combined salaries is something Freidman is good at.
If they have 40 men on the 40-man roster, why do they need to make a trade?
Well people are stillnsaying they should sign various free agents but the roster is full. Sure they could just release somebody but that’s a waste of one of your players. But to add players thru a trade from their 40 man and from ours keeps the balance.
I want the Dodgers to reset their CBT payroll this year. If a team signs Bauer for $5MM, I hope that $5MM goes to the Dodgers and reduces their AAV by that amount. I haven’t read anything about how that works yet other than that would be the case if he were to sign to the minimum.
I don’t want Muncy at second base. Taylor would be better defensively there but I would rather trade him. If the Dodgers can’t trade for a speedy second baseman who is not a hole in the offense then I am all for moving Betts to second.
LF Busch or Taylor or Kelenic
Fred. Why would a team pay him 5 million when with the Dodgers on the hook for the contract all they have to pay is the MLB minimum? No, that does not make sense. The only way they would get any salary relief is a trade or if he would have opted out.
Bear, if two teams offer him the minimum then I would guess they would be willing to pay more because where there is competition there is bidding. No?
If he gets more than one offer, it is his choice which team he wants to play for. If a team wants him and doesn’t want to take a chance when he is a free agent, then, they need to work a trade with the Dodgers.
That can only happen before he is placed on release waivers, which now is only 5 days away. If some team wanted him that much, a trade would have already happened.
Chances of that happening are pretty slim there my friend. He will be extremely lucky to get one offer. Of course, if it got into a bidding war, highly unlikely, then the Dodgers would reap the benefit of same. But that is simply just not going to take place.
Dodger will not be able to stay under the CBT unless they trade Taylor and/or Muncy. Taylor almost untradeable with that contract and his dismal showing last year. We may get some takers on Muncy. They should sign McCutchen and Jose Iglesias and leave Lux at 2B.
Let me try to understand the math here.
You’re going to trade Max ($13MM salary) in order to stay under the CBT.
Then you’re going to sign Cutch and Iglesias who earned $13MM between them last year and who will probably sign for about that much between them this year. Iglesias had a very nice year and might get a raise, while McCutchen had a meh year and will probably settle for less than the $8MM he got last year, but not a lot less.
So exactly how have you helped your potential CBT problem here?
I assume you haven’t heard about the process of using two sets of books depending on who you share them with?
McCutcheon is a 36 year old 8 years past his prime 1 WAR player. We’ve got a plethora of players here already that can do that, including Heyward who is probably better defensively. We already have a shortstop. And those taxes don’t have to be paid in April. We can keep everybody until the deadline.
It’s a reset year. Start the season. We’re ready to go.
Can’t start the season. Heavy rain expected for the next two days. Could we start Wednesday?
Sure. We can also start in Arizona. It never rains there.
That is as accurate as my weatherman, especially when I sign up for golf.
Chase has a lid.
McCutcheon would be better off with Boras as his agent. You might be losing a client.
I could be wrong, but I think he meant getting under the CBT and signing Cutch and Iglesias are independent of each other. Recognizing that they cannot get under the threshold unless they move CT3 or Muncy while recognizing that Muncy is more tradeable, the Dodgers should still sign Cutch and Iglesias, regardless if Muncy is moved.
At least that is how I read it.
Thank You Jeff. I probably should have spelled it out a little better.
I don’t think we will be able to trade Taylor and I don’t think they will trade Muncy. I believe we will go over the CBT regardless, so, sign Jose Iglesias and leave Lux at 2B.
Ah, thanks for the clarification, OD.
Sorry I wasn’t clear the first time.
I guess I am not as concerned about going over the CBT threshold as many are. The payroll and tax combined for 2021 was about $318.3MM, and the projected payroll and tax for 2022 totals about $319.3MM.
Let’s assume that the Dodgers get the payroll up to $250MM this year. That would mean a payroll and tax total of about $258.5M (50% of salary. That is a decrease of nearly $60MM.
Next year they lose the following:
· Trevor Bauer – $22.5MM (payroll only)
· Clayton Kershaw – $20MM
· Max Muncy – $13.5MM ($10MM – $15MM club option with no buyout – depends on PA).
· Noah Syndergaard – $13MM
· Julio Urias – $13MM
· JD Martinez – $10MM
· Blake Treinen – $8MM
· Daniel Hudson – $6.5MM ($6.5MM club option)
· Shelby Miller – $1.5MM
That is $108MM, and three SP that they will need to replace. I think the absolute boundary that the Dodgers would go for Ohtani would be $400MM (10 years). Bauer and JDM, the two positions Ohtani would replace make up $32.5MM. Throw in Treinen who will not add anything this year, and the $40 million for Ohtani is made.
That leaves $68MM for Urias, Kershaw, arbitration increases, and whatever other FA they may want. I think they can make that work. Buehler, Miller, and Stone can make up for the other starting pitcher losses.
IMO, the Dodgers should trade some of their surplus 77 RHP prospects for controllable ML CF and middle infielders, and/or CF middle infielder prospects.
Clarification please: is it 77 RHP in total or is that the surplus number. I need to know before I decide whether to offer 20 or 30 of them for that center fielder.
Jeff, could you please explain again what the penalties are for repeatedly going over the various CBT limits? Do you only lose draft choices/draft money by going over the third tier?
Repeatedly going over the first and second tier only costs money?
There are now 4 tiers:
$20MM – $40MM over
$40MM – $60MM over
The Dodgers are not a revenue sharing team so they would fall under the following two categories for losing a player with a QO:
• If the team that loses the player does not receive revenue sharing and did not exceed the luxury-tax salary threshold the previous season, its compensatory pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B.
• If the team that loses the player went over the luxury-tax threshold, the compensation pick will be placed after the fourth round has been completed (as with the previous scenario, it doesn’t matter how much the player signs for).
The Dodgers will get two of the second category mentioned above. One for Tyler Anderson and one for Trea Turner.
The penalties for signing a FA with a QO:
• A team that exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season will lose its second- and fifth-highest selections in the following year’s Draft, as well as $1 million from its international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period. If such a team signs multiple qualifying-offer free agents, it will forfeit its third- and sixth-highest remaining picks as well.
This is what happened to LAD after signing Freddie Freeman last year. The Dodgers lost their #2 and the compensatory draft pick for losing Corey Seager.
Exceeding the CBT threshold by more than $40MM will force the team to have their 1st draft pick drop 10 spots from where they are supposed to start. Last year the Dodgers were supposed to pick #30, but dropped down to #40. None of the remaining picks were impacted by this.
Here is an explanation of the CBT penalties:
I’ve never cared if the Dodgers go over the tax limit. They can afford it. And who knows, maybe they’ll keep doing it every year and just call it the cost of doing business. But if that were the case, why didn’t they get a shortstop to replace Turner? Bogaerts is a better fit here than San Diego.
I know that you and others may disagree with AF/BG, but they made it very clear, very early on, that they were going to allow Gavin Lux to assume the everyday SS position for LAD. If Lux does not meet their expectations, look for AF/BG to look for another SS. Amed Rosario will be a FA after this year, and could be available via trade if the Guardians fall out of it by the deadline.
Yep, they’ve made that clear all right. Do I disagree with it? I’d rather have Bogaerts, especially if they don’t intend to reset. Bogaerts and Bauer would have given us possibly 8 wins. And more wins is what I preferred. I sure didn’t want those wins going to San Diego
The answer is blowing in the wins.
Yeah, we’re blowing the wins alright. 217 in two years, 3-7 in the playoffs.
Nice reference by the way. One of Zimmerman’s best.
Well done, you two, although I may be the only one with a warped enough sense of humor to appreciate you.
I doubt that.
Liam Hendriks to begin treatment on Monday for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hendriks said in a statement:
Team statement through Rick Hahn:
Liam is in my prayers for a speedy and full recovery.