The Dodgers laugh at your concerns about their spiraling payroll

61 Comments

We can make all the jokes we want about the Dodgers signing everyone and making the mid-2000s Yankees look like misers and all that jazz, but they won’t care. Why? Because their TV deal is going to be bonkers, it seems. Bill Shaikin reports:

Fox Sports could pay at least $6 billion to retain the Dodgers’ television rights, three parties familiar with the negotiations said Sunday. The deal could be worth three times what the Dodgers’ new owners paid for the team and almost 20 times the value of the Dodgers’ current television contract.

Perspective: the Dodgers currently rake in about $29 million a year in local TV money. This deal would bring them about $240 million a year, on average, over the life of the deal. In other words, with just the increase in TV revenue, they could add, like, eight A-Rods to the roster. So, no, when they sign Zack Greinke, you need not shed a tear for their financial well being.

Fox, on the other hand, maybe worry about them. Because these rights deals are getting insane and eventually the bubble is going to burst, right? And some network is going to have … um, whatever goo makes up TV rights bubbles splash all over them. Perhaps it’s a soapy mixture of some kind. Comes with a wand.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
41 Comments

In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.