Jon Heyman’s latest column for FanRag Sports takes a look at the Dodgers’ summer trade talks and how the club is positioning itself for the future…
- The Dodgers were known to have had brief talks with the Diamondbacks about a possible Zack Greinke trade this summer, and Heyman reports that the Dodgers offered to cover roughly $25MM of the $34.4MM average annual value owed to Greinke through the 2021 season. D’Backs ownership didn’t want to retain any of Greinke’s contract and rejected the offer, saying the Dodgers “had plenty of money” to afford all of the right-hander’s massive future salary commitments.
- While Los Angeles obviously hasn’t been shy on spending in recent years, Heyman notes that the club “might have stricter limits on term that you’d think.” For instance, the Dodgers were only willing to offer Greinke five years (for $155MM) in free agency last winter, and some in the organization even felt that was a “stretch.” The Dodgers even floated a two-year offer to Greinke with a very high AAV of close to $40MM per season.
- With the Dodgers’ concerns about term length in mind, there are some mixed signals about how far the team is willing to go to re-sign its top free agents this winter, such as Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Rich Hill and Josh Reddick. While L.A. will “at least try” to retain all of them, at least one or two of the players could sign elsewhere. One rival official believes the Dodgers might let all of their own free agents walk, though later reasoned that Jansen is perhaps too important to the Dodgers’ bullpen to let go.
- Speaking of Dodgers’ spending, some in the front office believe there’s a chance the team could manage to get below the $189MM luxury tax threshold in the near future. The Dodgers have so many impressive prospects on the horizon that an influx of cheap, controllable young talent would allow the club to eschew the higher-priced names that ballooned their payroll to over $300MM in recent years. Heyman notes, however, that the Dodgers have already trimmed spending (by their standards) from that record high, with a 2016 Opening Day payroll of just under $250MM. It’s also possible that the luxury tax limit will be raised from $189MM in the new collective bargaining agreement, so Los Angeles and other big-market teams would have a bit more spending flexibility. Needless to say, getting under the luxury tax limit just once would provide massive financial savings for the Dodgers.