Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti hit back against some of the detractors of his team's recent spending spree, telling 710 ESPN LA that the Dodgers are not being reckless with their money.
The Dodgers have seemingly picked up anyone and everyone under the sun in 2012. On Aug. 25, the Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto, which combined with the signings of pitchers Zack Grienke and Ryu Hyun-Jin means the Dodgers committed $600 million in payroll in just six months.
Colletti argues that as the Dodgers payroll floundered under previous owner Frank McCourt, the concept that they payroll is extreme is a bit dramatic.
"Our payroll a year ago was $90 [million]," Colletti said in an interview on ESPNLA 710. "We're up over $200 [million] now. If you added it all up, it might be up over 300 [million] over two years. Had we been at 150 last year and 150 this year, nobody would be saying a word, right?"
The Dodgers still owe Manny Ramirez $8 million and are expected to owe close to $9 million in luxury tax, which brings their estimated payroll for the 2013 season over $230 million. This is easily a new MLB record, but as Fangraphs pointed out recently, the Dodgers payroll isn't exactly unprecedented. If you adjust the New York Yankees 2005 payroll for inflation, George Steinbrenner and company shelled out close to $244 million to lose to the Los Angeles Angels in the ALDS.
Payroll relief isn't going to come anytime soon for the Dodgers. Although they won't have to pay Ramierz to not play for them in 2014, Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will hit the free agent market. Considering the Dodgers giving Grienke $147 million last week, Kershaw is expected to command quite the cost.