Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness: Even though he’s away from home right now, I think Mike Petriello comes away from the trade with the right approach.
So how am I feeling about it today? I think Gonzalez is going to be an incredible fit in LA, especially considering that reports of his demise in Boston seem overblown (he was outstanding last year and has been very good for much of this year after a slow start) and that he never seemed to want to leave Southern California in the first place. It’s a high price to pay, but if he is what we think he is – and don’t forget, there was little available in the first base market next year, so if you’re spending money, this is how you do it – and the team becomes a consistent contender, I think it’ll be a price we can live with.
And if not? The next decade could get ugly, fast. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic, but mainly excited for the rest of the season.
I’m the same. Hopeful, but wary for reasons that I believe are legitimate. Far too many Dodgers fans pretending this is highway robbery in our favor, in my opinion.
Dodger Thoughts: Jon Weisman invokes Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields.
The chances of De La Rosa becoming one of the greatest pitchers of all time might be slim, but De La Rosa doesn’t have to become the second Pedro to represent a major loss for the Dodgers. He could just be really good, while Gonzalez apes DeShields’ decline.
Like I said, I’m hungry for a World Series title, and I’m not saying the risk of trading De La Rosa won’t be worth it. Don’t misunderstand me: The Dodgers need a player like Gonzalez, who boosts them at their weakest position. I even believe that a move back to his Southern California roots and away from the Red Sox maelstrom could revitalize him.
All I’m saying is, short of Clayton Kershaw, the trade of any other pitcher besides De La Rosa would have left me more comfortable.
Not sure I agree with the people flipping out on him, especially if the Dodgers can’t upgrade their rotation significantly in the coming years. However, I think Adrian Gonzalez is a far better player and Rubby De La Rosa, while one of my favorites, won’t get to ace level.
Sports Illustrated: Jay Jaffe acknowledges the risk and the reward, saying that if nothing else it makes the season compelling.
All in all, it’s a dizzying deal that could affect not only the outcome of this year’s NL playoff races, but also could turn the Dodgers into the NL West’s powerhouse for years to come, with an enviable middle of the order starring Kemp, Gonzalez, Ramirez and Ethier. Or it could blow up in the team’s collective face, saddling the Dodgers with unproductive players signed to long-term deals, and hampering their roster flexibility much as it did these Red Sox.
Given their surrender of two top young arms, and the massive savings — and saving face — that the deal offered Boston, the Dodgers should have come away with far more than $12 million in salary discounts. That they didn’t puts virtually all of the risk on them, but it makes for a compellingly aggressive play in a playoff race that remains wide open.
True Blue LA: Eric Stephen notes that the team is headed for the luxury tax.
Dodgers Now: Stan Kasten says they aren’t maxed out yet though.
If the Dodgers can add $260 million to their payroll in one trade — and close to a half-billion dollars in four months — is there a limit to their spending?
“Somewhere, I suppose,” Chairman Mark Walter said Saturday.
And where might that limit be?
“I haven’t found it yet,” President Stan Kasten said. “I’ll let you know when we get there.”
Not sure how much of that is rhetoric, but I think we’ll see in the 2013 off-season.
FanGraphs: Dave Cameron thinks it doesn’t make sense from a baseball perspective but that it might make sense if the Dodgers make a deep run into the playoffs due to financials.
From a purely baseball standpoint, this investment doesn’t make sense. Gonzalez isn’t valuable enough to make him worth taking on the albatross contracts of Crawford and Beckett, and the Dodgers almost certainly could have gotten a better bang for their buck in free agency this winter. However, making moves this winter won’t get people interested in the Dodgers in the same way that a deep playoff run this year will.
I’m getting a lot of similar comments on Twitter, so I know this isn’t a rare opinion, but I have to wonder how legitimate the train of thought is. Dodgers fans show up regardless of how the team is doing, and the only reason attendance plummeted last year was because of a fan boycott of Frank McCourt. Even with all the turmoil, they were sixth in attendance last year, and this year they’re already back up to third. As such, I don’t buy the argument that they needed to do this during the season to make the playoffs otherwise fans wouldn’t come back and they wouldn’t make money. If the tens of millions from potential playoff revenue is going to make or break a team with billions of dollars looming, then there are bigger problems here.
Also, I don’t buy that this is to create buzz for a media deal. We’re all speculating, but logically I don’t see why cable companies, who negotiate deals like this all the time, would be swayed off their valuation due to a small sample size and not take into account the big 15-to-25 year picture. It’s already rumored to be in the $8 billion range, so how much higher could it go? Maybe they are that dumb, I dunno, but it seems iffy to assume so.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Dodgers likely just paid $20 for a gallon of milk. Given the prices everyone else is paying for milk, that seems pretty silly. If you happen to have lots of $20 bills and no milk, however, and there’s only one guy selling milk in your immediate vicinity, maybe you just complain about price gouging and hand over the $20. Depending on just how many $20s the Dodgers ownership has, this might not end up being quite as nuts as it looks on the surface.
Or, maybe I’m just over-thinking all of this, and the Dodgers just made a horrible, horrible trade. I’m honestly not sure.
Maybe, but I can’t see this trade destroying the team down the road. It might make for an inferior roster, but as long as they continue to spend, the team will be competitive. I’d just rather have to go through as little big money decline phases as possible.
ESPN: Buster Olney names his winners and losers … with the Dodgers on both.
Winners: The Dodgers of 2012
They are markedly better today than they were before this deal. Adrian Gonzalez is perfect for their lineup, their lineup balance, their defense and their ballpark, and he knows the division from his many years with the Padres. Beckett might be energized, and he gets to shift out of one of the best-hitting divisions to one of the worst.
Winners: Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and the rest of the Dodgers’ ownership group
In less than four months, these owners have managed to completely rebrand the franchise, and, even if the Dodgers don’t make the playoffs this year, they’ve set themselves up for a major bounce forward in attendance and interest and team success in 2013. The city might throw them a parade even if they don’t win the World Series because, ding-dong, the Frank McCourt era is over.
Losers: The Dodgers of 2017
The team’s stunning spending spree feels good today, but Los Angeles has set itself up to have a roster loaded with aging stars in about five years — Matt Kemp, Gonzalez, Crawford and Andre Ethier all have contracts that run through that season. By then, the Dodgers’ farm system should be replenished, and the club’s ownership should have the resources to pave over that type of problem in the way the Yankees have — and, in any event, Dodgers fans won’t have to worry about that for a while.
ESPN: Keith Law takes a good now and bad later approach as well.
This deal could end up looking good for both sides, better for the Dodgers in the very short term but much better for the Red Sox in the long term. Boston enters this winter with a new financial lease on life, freeing the Sox up to spend in a weak free-agent market or perhaps to take on a large contract someone else would like to move (Cliff Lee? Justin Upton?).
They’re also looking at a pretty interesting group of position-player prospects racing up the system, led by Xander Bogaerts, who has improved his defense at shortstop this year and might defy earlier expectations and stay at the position. That potential for an inexpensive core should help Boston avoid a similar tangle of large contracts in the near future, just at a point when the Dodgers are facing a financial quagmire and roster crunch of their own.
Baseball executives are chiming in on the trade, basically questioning what the Dodgers are doing.
Rival exec on
#Dodgers: “If you had $250M to spend, is this how you’d do it?”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 25, 2012
Rival execs are wondering why LADs didn’t simply say to BOS: We’ll take your bad contracts, but we’re not giving you any prospects of note.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 25, 2012
NL exec view:”The Dodgers so wanted Gonzalez they took Crawford and Beckett’s money and traded two great arms to get him.”
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) August 25, 2012
While I don’t necessarily disagree with their assessment, one has to wonder how much of this is legit and how much of this is just being jealous.