Andrew Friedman got $35 million to leave the Rays for the Dodgers … and he might be underpaid

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Everyone figured the Dodgers must have shelled out a ton of money to lure Andrew Friedman away from the Rays and now Buster Olney has the details: $35 million over five years.

That’s obviously a ton of money, but $7 million per season means almost nothing to a Dodgers team with a $240 million (and climbing) payroll.

Plus, in terms of what $35 million buys you on the field Friedman is getting–for example–$14 million less than Ricky Nolasco and $13 million less than Ubaldo Jimenez got as free agents last winter. He’s getting third-starter money, basically. Jason Vargas (four years, $32 million) or Scott Feldman (three years, $30 million) money.

I think there’s a strong argument to be made that general managers (or perhaps more accurately front offices, overall) can have a larger impact on a team’s long-term success than even elite players, let alone third starters. GMs are much tougher to evaluate than players and Friedman still has plenty to prove, but if you think a GM and/or president of baseball operations is truly great then $35 million in a bargain.

And my guess is we’re going to see GM salaries skyrocket soon as more high-revenue teams realize it’s one of the few remaining places to out-spend your low-revenue opponents now that draft and international spending is mostly regulated.

Brewers move into tie with Nationals for first NL Wild Card

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The Brewers, once left for dead after outfielder Christian Yelich suffered a season-ending injury, defeated the Pirates 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. That, paired with the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to the Marlins, moved them into a tie for the first NL Wild Card. The Brewers are 10-2 since Yelich’s injury.

During Sunday’s game, the Brewers brought a combined perfect game bid into the seventh inning. It ended when Gio González allowed a one-out single to Bryan Reynolds. The Brewers’ four runs came on two Eric Thames homers and an Orlando Arcia homer. The Pirates mounted a rally in the eighth inning, scoring three runs, but Josh Hader came in and slammed the door, getting the final four outs.

The Brewers end the season on a six-game road trip. They will face the Reds for three games before finishing out the schedule with three against the Rockies. The Cubs trail both the Brewers and Nationals by four games. The Mets are 4.5 games back while the Diamondbacks and Phillies are each 5.5 games behind.