Andrew Friedman not trying to trim Dodgers’ payroll – Orange County Register

Andrew Friedman not looking to trim Dodgers’ payroll – Orange County Register

GLENDALE, Ariz. — For 3 years, the Dodgers had been fiscally accountable when it got here to payroll – properly, at the least comparatively so.

After paying roughly $150 million in aggressive steadiness tax (aka luxurious tax) from 2013 by 2017 and main the majors in payroll for the final 4 of these years, the Dodgers’ payroll got here down in 2018-20 they usually paid no luxurious tax.

Whereas the remainder of MLB reined within the spending within the wake of 2020’s monetary challenges, nevertheless, the Dodgers went hovering previous the posh tax threshold as soon as once more. The dual signings of pitcher Trevor Bauer and third baseman Justin Turner within the week earlier than spring coaching camps opened took the Dodgers’ projected payroll for 2021 previous the $250 million mark. That will set off the costliest penalties, costing them roughly $13 million in luxurious tax cost and shifting their first choose within the draft again 10 spots subsequent yr.

However Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman mentioned there isn’t a strain from possession to shed payroll this yr.

“I believe our major focus is on doing all the things we will to defend our title,” Friedman mentioned. “Commerce discussions, I’m certain, will happen throughout spring coaching but it surely’s not one thing that’s entrance of thoughts for us when it comes to shifting cash. The strikes and issues that we’ve achieved the earlier three years gave us a bit bit extra flexibility proper now. I believe from our standpoint we really feel actually good in regards to the group we now have in place.

“We all know that there’s some added prices related to it, which isn’t very best, however it’s a price. However we really feel like with the place we’re as a group we now have that the reward form of outweighs that.”

No different group in baseball is at the moment projected to exceed the $210 million luxurious tax threshold as groups put together for an additional season performed with restricted income from ticket gross sales at finest.

Friedman mentioned the Dodgers’ present payroll stage is “not sustainable” – the identical label he utilized whereas working to get payroll beneath the posh tax threshold three years in the past – and the group might re-set the posh tax penalties by dipping again underneath the edge for at the least one yr.

“We don’t ever view our payroll at anyone second in time,” he mentioned. “We actually view it over a two-, three-, four-, five-year interval. So from the place we’re proper now, I wouldn’t be shocked in any respect if that is the place we completed the yr. And we’re okay with it and factored it in.”

The Dodgers do have a possible $72 million coming off the books on the finish of this yr when pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly and shortstop Corey Seager can turn out to be free brokers. However in addition they have greater than $130 million already dedicated to 10 gamers in 2022.

Past that, outfielder Mookie Betts and Bauer are the one veterans underneath contract – and Bauer might probably decide out following this season or subsequent. Three different gamers (Turner, infielder Max Muncy and reduction pitcher Blake Treinen) have membership choices for 2023 and one (outfielder A.J. Pollock) has a participant possibility.

BACKUP PLAN

Austin Barnes has spent the previous 4 years because the Dodgers’ backup catcher for six months, April by September, then grew to become the main man behind the plate in October.

The Dodgers have performed 54 postseason video games in these previous 4 seasons. Yasmani Grandal and Will Smith provided extra offensive upside than Barnes. But it surely was Barnes who began 30 of them at catcher, together with 15 of the 18 World Sequence video games (Smith began 4 of the six World Sequence video games final yr at DH).

“I wish to be in these video games. I wish to be in vital video games. I really feel good that they belief me in a very powerful video games of the yr,” Barnes mentioned. “I believe it goes again to preparation. I’m prepared for these video games and I really feel good in these video games. I really feel assured. And I really feel like I work with the pitchers properly in these video games. I really feel like I can calm a few of these guys down, the youthful guys.

“I’ve been there a bit bit and I’ve gained a few of these massive video games and I’ve misplaced them. There’s rather a lot to study from each. These video games are enjoyable. They’re intense and I do know this group is all about profitable. However anytime I can get in there I’m proud of it.”

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