I don't know what was more unstable this offseason: the Dodgers' team-building plan or the ACL of Victor Martinez. It turns out that both cost the team one way or another.
First baseman Prince Fielder signed a nine-year deal with the Detroit Tigers that became official today, and news broke today that the Dodgers were heavily involved in the negotiations in recent weeks, per various reports (Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, and Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports).
The Dodgers had a seven-year offer on the table, with an opt-out clause for Fielder, per Heyman:
The Dodgers' offer was said to have called for an average salary of about $26 million for the first four years and something in the low $20-million-range in the next three years. The bid was designed not to discourage Fielder from opting out and possibly moving to the American League where he could DH after the first four years. The total Dodgers deal was believed to have been worth in the low $160 millions.
I seriously don't understand this offseason. Every move made this winter by the Dodgers were the cumulative moves of a team desperately trying to add players with a small payout in 2012 with larger payouts in 2013 and beyond. The lack of money was cited as a reason for not re-signing Hiroki Kuroda, who ended up inking a deal with the New York Yankees for one year and $10 million.
Now all of a sudden the money was there for Fielder? It would have been nice to have that earlier in the offseason.
Maybe this explanation from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports sheds some light:
One motivation for #Dodgers to get Prince was to boost short-term revenues. Team facing "huge revenue problem" in '12, one exec says.
Had Martinez not suffered the season-ending injury to his ACL, would the Tigers have offered nine years and $214 million to Fielder? I doubt it, but we'll never know.