Mike DiGiovanna and Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times write that both the Dodgers and the Angels are limited in what they can do this offseason due to payroll restrictions. The Angels have roughly $12 million to work with. The Dodgers have their own problems of course, but even if you don’t look at the McCourt drama, they have a handful of players — Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, James Loney, Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill and Hong-Chih Kuo — who are due for raises heading into 2010 which could jack the payroll by $20 million before they even sign anyone to fill the holes they have.
Upshot: if the Angels have any hope of retaining their big free agents, it will have to be with backloaded deals. If the Dodgers are going to make any real changes, it will be via bargain hunting. The way things sit right now, neither team seems poised to actually improve in 2010.
Which means that if I were running the Giants, Mariners, Rockies or the Rangers, I’d think long and hard about going for broke this winter and making a deal that could be the equivalent of stepping on the L.A. teams’ throats.