Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says “word is” the Dodgers may try for “another big free-agent starter.”
And it’s pretty easy to believe those whispers.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers have $210.1 million in salary commitments for 2013 and will pay another $22 million in luxury tax (for a total sum of $233+ million). But their new 25-year local television contract with FOX Sports West is going to bring in over $240 million per season and so they’re still — as amazing as it might sound — operating with great comfort financially.
The Cardinals, for comparison, make under $30 million annually from their television rights deal with FOX Sports Midwest, which is locked in through 2017. Their player payroll in 2012 was just over $110 million.
The Dodgers could sign Anibal Sanchez, or Kyle Lohse, or finally work out an agreement with Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin, knowing full well that the club will still be highly profitable. Big national television money is coming, and Dodger Stadium hosts three million fans practically very summer. Then there’s the high-dollar revenue from things like merchandise, concessions and parking.
Handing a record-breaking free agent contract to a guy who’s not even an ace seems crazy, but it simply isn’t for the Dodgers. And they’re not done yet.
The Dodgers bid $25.7 million last month for exclusive negotiating rights on South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin. Now they have a little more than 24 hours to get a deal done.
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM was told by a Dodgers source that they expect negotiations will go right up until the 5 p.m. deadline tomorrow. Of course, that’s not really unusual for a situation like this, so that doesn’t mean that a deal is in jeopardy.
The last we heard on Tuesday, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said that his offer to Hyun-Jin fell “a tad short.” Hyun-Jin’s agent, Scott Boras, then acknowledged that he had made a counter-offer and that negotiations were ongoing.
Hyun-Jin turns 26 in March and owns a 2.80 ERA over seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. Per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Boras said earlier this week that the southpaw is ready to step in as a No. 3 starter immediately and needs to be paid “within the standards of what other No. 3’s are getting.” It’s fair to guess that may put him in the range of Jeremy Guthrie’s recent three-year, $25 million deal with the Royals.
If a deal isn’t worked out, Hyun-Jin will return to his team in the KBO while the Dodgers will not be responsible for the posting fee.
It appears that Ryu Hyun-Jin may remain in Korea.
The Dodgers put forward a $25.7 million posting fee early last month for the right to negotiate exclusively with the 25-year-old left-hander, then made a long-term offer to his representatives this week from the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
But it “fell a tad short,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday night. And it’s not a certainty that Colletti and Co. will make a second proposal.
Ryu owns a 98-52 record, 2.80 ERA and 1238/383 K/BB ratio over seven seasons in the KBO (Korea’s top professional baseball league). If a deal can’t be worked out, the Dodgers will have that posting fee returned.
And the young southpaw can try again next winter to make the transition to the major leagues.
UPDATE, 8:44 PM: Ryu’s agent, Scott Boras, told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he made a counter-offer. “We exchanged offers and negotiations continue,” said the super agent.