OK, that headline brands me as crazy, right? Well, that’s old news! Everyone knows that Gioncarlo Stanton is going to cost almost $30 million a year right? Maybe over the life of the contract, but next year, he might be FREE. Here’s a really important fact: The Dodgers don’t need to do anything, but if they do, it should be significant and it should reduce payroll. I think the Dodgers can do both at once.
At the end of this past season, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawfish, Chase Utley, Franklin Gutierrez and Sergio Romo all came off the books. That’s right at $50 million! As it stands RIGHT NOW, I have the Dodgers payroll at just shy of $218 Million for 2018.
Those numbers are based upon what the estimated arbitration numbers will be. As an example, Yasmani Grandal is down for $7.7 million and I have Maeda at $13 million (the bonuses have to be included). I think it is possible that the Dodgers can cut their payroll by up to another $72 million.
Here’s where more money could be cut!
- Adrian Gonzalez – $22.3 Million
- Scott Kazmir – $17.66 Million
- Brandon McCarthy – $11.5 Million
- Kenta Maeda – $13 Million
- Yasmani Grandal – $7.7 Million
The Dodgers could lose all of the above players and not miss a beat. Maeda is nice out of the pen, but he’s not going to be happy with that. He wants to start and the Dodgers have better options. Of course, all of this hinges on what other teams need and how much they are willing to pay. If the Dodgers could pull this off, they could get payroll down to $146 Million. For example, Grandal, Maeda and McCarthy could be packaged to a team or teams that need a catcher and starting pitchers. Baltimore could use a catcher and a couple of starters. All that comes back is prospects… three or four decent to good ones. I have no doubt Grandal, Maeda and McCarthy can be moved… especially for prospects. Grandal has a lot of value, Maeda has a great contract and McCarthy only has a year on his deal. It’s worth the risk to someone.
That leaves Gonzalez and Kazmir who are owed a combined $40 million in 2018. They go to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton along with the prospects from the other deal and Alex Verdugo (maybe more). The Marlins have to pay them for a year and may be able to move them for some slight salary relief, but after 2018, they lose Stanton and all salary associated with him and they lose Gonzo and Kazmir too. Of course, this deal is contingent upon Stanton only approving a trade to the Dodgers and no one else.
That would leave the rotation with Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Ryu and Buehler. I do not think Buehler will be ready at the start of the year and Urias won’t be ready until the end of 2018 or 2019, so the Dodgers would need to sign another pitcher. Jhoulys Chacin would be one for $16 Million/2 years. They could also re-sign Morrow at 3 years/$26 million and still be below $200 Million.
Even if it is possible – there are lots of arguments for and against – it won’t be easy, but it is possible. Here’s the linchpin: Stanton can’t be traded unless he approves it. He can hold out for the Dodgers, and the Marlins would have to take that deal… or keep him. All Stanton has to do is say that he wants to be a Dodger or stay a Marlin. Miami has no leverage. Stanton just has to stick to his guns. Will he? If he wants to be a Dodger he will!
In closing, let me say this: Stanton’s contract will be good for 5 -7 years and then it will become a bad deal. A team can handleONEbad deal. It’s just hard to navigate with three like the Dodgers have done for the past 2-3 years. One is OK. I have no qualms with just one! No more! ONE!
Look at this lineup:
- Taylor CF
- Turner 3B
- Seager SS
- Stanton LF
- Bellinger 1B
- Puig RF
- Barnes C
- Forsythe 2B
Utility: Farmer, Hernandez, Toles, Pederson, Culberson
Starters: Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Ryu, Chacin, Buehler
Pen: Cingrani, Stewart, Striping, Morrow, Garcia, Jansen
2018 Salary Breakdown