The Dodgers' layout of $147 million to sign Zack Greinke spurred quite a reaction from around the baseball world. The contract with the largest average annual value ever for a pitcher has people wondering just how much the Dodgers ownership group is willing to spend.
"At a time when even the Yankees are reeling things in, the Guggenheim Dodgers are so flush with cash they can name any president you want not from the history books or Google, but simply from pulling a wad of bills from their pockets and looking," said Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that Greinke met with manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti in Florida last week, and that the Dodgers were "impressed by Greinke’s demeanor and intellect." Brown also noted how the Dodgers are the big dogs in terms of spending in MLB, with a payroll well north of $200 million in 2013:
"Bound for years by the mismanagement and personal gluttony of Frank McCourt, who ultimately declared bankruptcy, the Dodgers under an ownership of Mark Walter and Magic Johnson are expected to have the highest payroll in baseball by a wide margin. The New York Yankees had held that distinction for some 15 years running."
Jayson Stark of ESPN cited the club's pending television contract, expected to fetch at least $6 billion over 25 years, as the reason for the team making it rain:
So remember that, OK?, as this team's payroll continues to soar into the stratosphere -- and whatever "spheres" are beyond that. (The luxury-tax-o-sphere?)
Remember that because it's a reminder of something important: The only reason the Dodgers are spending all this dough is because they've got it -- and because they've got a lot more of it coming.
"At this time last year, the Dodgers were in financial peril, still owned by Frank McCourt," wrote Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "But that all changed in May when the Guggenheims partnered with Magic Johnson, among others, and purchased the franchise. Since then it has been "Gentlemen, start your wallets," in L.A."
Chad Moriyama chimed in as well:
"If you’ve followed me in years past, you’d know that I would usually do some type of efficiency analysis in terms of whether the deal makes sense on a dollars per WAR basis, but at this stage, with the 2013 payroll already around $235 million, I’m not sure it matters as much."
"Sure, maybe they'll have buyer's regret down the road if they're saddled with a bunch of bad contracts," wrote Richard Justice of MLB.com. "But if their overriding goal was to send a message that this new era of Dodgers baseball would be nothing like the previous one, they've succeeded. Yes, folks, it's OK to believe in the Dodgers again."
What does this all mean for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly? Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports points out the pressure to win:
A former Los Angeles Dodgers player sent me a text message Saturday night after learning that right-hander Zack Greinke was headed to LA.
“Good luck Don Mattingly!” the text said.
Good luck managing this eclectic collection. Good luck dealing with skyrocketing expectations. Good luck keeping your job if you fail to win with a record payroll.
But writers weren't the only ones to react to the Greinke deal. His new Dodgers teammates were excited as well:
Best 1-2 is my opinion! Everyone has their own and I respect that!— Adrian Gonzalez (@adriangon28) December 9, 2012
Not sure who's more excited about @dodgers signing Greinke:AJ the catcher of another Ace or AJ the hitter who doesn't have to face him.— AJ Ellis (@AJEllis17) December 9, 2012
Brandon League (@BrandonLeague31) December 9, 2012