Rosenthal: the Dodgers should have a $150 million payroll

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Let’s forget for a moment that Ken Rosenthal likes to rip the Yankees and Red Sox new ones for outspending everyone and making a mockery of their division and just enjoy him ripping Frank McCourt a new one for not outspending everyone and making a mockery out of the NL West:

The Dodgers should have capitalized upon their revenues, traded for an
ace at one of the last two non-waiver deadlines and reached the World Series by now. They
should be dominating the NL West, a division in which no other team
approaches their financial might. Instead, they’re fretting over their
starting rotation, which lacks an ace at the top and depth at the bottom.

Goes on and on like that, with Rosenthal noting that their payroll will be lower than the Twins’ payroll this year and asking us, multiple times, to imagine what life would be like if the Dodgers spent $150 million on players. He ends the article by saying “They’re the Los Angeles Dodgers, for crying out loud. Imagine if they acted like it.”

My slight dig at him aside, Rosenthal is absolutely right about this. Between the size of their market, their attendance, their merchandising reach and the fact that they own the ballpark and all the land around it, the Dodgers basically have a license to print money.  If the Dodgers, as Rosenthal says, acted like the Dodgers, they could have made trades for any number of pitchers that have come available in recent years. They could have come to represent a west coast counterweight to the Yankees in the free agent market, diminishing some of Bombers’ power. And if they stepped things up perhaps another NL team steps things up like the Red Sox did in response to the Yankees getting their act together in the 90s.

Except the McCourts (a) bought the team by leveraging themselves to the hilt; and (b) decided to suck money out of the team for their own personal use
at an astonishing rate.  Yes, there has been some recent on-the-field
success in Los Angeles, but what they’ve done while running that
franchise has prevented sustained Yankees-and-Red Sox-style dominance
that they so easily could have realized by now. It’s a friggin’ crime,
really.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays
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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.