As Eric shows in his payroll worksheet the Dodger payroll is currently at $87 Million. With the Dodger deferred contract details now public knowledge it looks like the Dodgers tried to add Manny to the payroll while keeping the payroll a tad under $100 Million.
Is $100 Million the new benchmark? Dodger fans have to find it curious that the Dodgers didn't accept the counter offer of Boras/Manny of the same money over two years but with none of it deferred. You would have thought they'd have accepted it instantly. It is certainly a reasonable offer and one would think with good reason, the only thing holding the Dodgers back from accepting it is the possible Dodgers inability to meet that payroll in 2009 at that level.
I'm not privy to the Dodger finances so maybe after five years of running the team they have found that $100 Million is the payroll amount they feel comfortable with. Or maybe it is a one year deal during this economy. If so, then Ned is the last person who should be building this team. After all the most important person to add to this team is Manny Ramirez not Mota, Blake, Hudson, or even Wolf. Wolf might be a bauble we can't afford if we need to fit Manny into this payroll.
Then again you can't leave all those holes on the team while waiting for Manny to make up his mind. However no one put a gun to Ned's head and said spend stupid money on G Mota when any number of minimum wage pitchers could his job. That would save 2.3 Million for Manny. Casey Blake was a nice addition in November but now looks like a useless part with the addition of Hudson. However Blake was signed long before players like Abreu were signing for $5 million. Furcal was a must addition to this team so that money has to be spent. Randy Wolf or Orlando Hudson are the final pieces. Wolf came in at $5 million this year and Hudson could be anywhere from $3 -8 Million.
So I ask you? If you need to build a team with a payroll under $100 Million why do you spend the money on Hudson or Wolf until you have Manny locked up? Without Manny you don't need Hudson because this team ain't going anywhere. Just like Manny Hudson was not being flooded with offers. If you can't afford Manny because you signed Hudson then you might want to re-think why it is that you felt you had to have Orlando Hudson.
This team can win the West with Manny in LF and DeWitt at 2nd. It can win the West with Manny in left field and any number of candidates manning Wolf's spot in the rotation. I don't think they can win the West with Pierre in LF, Hudson at 2nd, and Wolf in the rotation. Maybe then can, hopefully we won't find out.
If you can't afford Manny, then spend the $10 Million you can afford on Adam Dunn, add Hudson, and at least you have built a team that can do some damage. Trying to buy a 25 Millon dollar ballplayer for 10 million is a great ploy only if it works. If it doesn't you end up with what we currently have.
Usually after a post like this, the Dodgers will make it all moot and sign Manny while pushing the 2009 payroll above the 100 Million dollar mark.
If they don't then they went the wrong way about building this team.