Daily Archives: December 6, 2016
Chances are Ian Desmond regrets a decision or two on the business side of his MLB career. He could be in the midst of a seven-year, $107 million extension with the Washington Nationals, but instead bet on himself and paid for it dearly.
Desmond hit the open market last winter for the first time following a lackluster 2015 campaign, and finding a new home wasn’t easy. Having draft-pick compensation attached to him didn’t help, either.
It got to a point where Desmond, an All-Star shortstop in 2012, settled on a one-year, $8 million at the end of February with the Texas Rangers to play the outfield. You don’t see many shortstops having to do that in advance of their age-30 season to facilitate finding a job.
Unlike the first time, Desmond’s second bet on himself to rebuild value and re-enter free agency the next winter appears to have worked. He turned into the Rangers’ everyday center fielder, hitting .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 21 stolen bases, 86 RBI and 107 runs scored in another All-Star campaign.
A Different Story This Time Around?
The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $204 MIL payroll – considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty – and an additional 45% hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 95 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that. Because of the Rich Hill signing, it will make it tough to get back Justin Turner and land a Closer – without paying the maximum surcharges for payroll.
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner)
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First things first, the MLB Winter Meetings are nirvana for baseball nerds like myself…..
Oh, hey legendary sportswriter Peter Gammons, how are you? What’s that Boston Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski? Sorry I couldn’t hear you because I was too busy saying hi to your manager John Farrell. Hey LA Times Dodgers’ beat writer Andy McCullough, have you seen NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra? I need to follow up on our conversation earlier and I got sidetracked by the New York Posts’ Joel Sherman. Oh, by the way, cool new glasses Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle.
You couldn’t turn around without being starstruck by people who would only be stars to readers of this blog. It was fantastic.
It wasn’t just shaking hands and pleasantries, though. I was able to have some really good conversations. For instance, while waiting for the guys on the MLB TV set to announce baseball’s two newest hall of famers, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig (whom I have some thoughts on), I had a really interesting semi-debate with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman about the independence and objectivity of an MLB-owned news organization and the conflicts faced by writers of even nominally independent outlets like ESPN.