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Dodgers trades more a reallocation of resources already committed

General manager Farhan Zaidi and the Dodgers front office were creative in their dealings this week, and added flexibility in their three trades.
General manager Farhan Zaidi and the Dodgers front office were creative in their dealings this week, and added flexibility in their three trades.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers flexed their financial muscles as a way to help facilitate their three-team, 13-player trade with the Braves and Marlins, plus an offshoot side deal with a fourth team, the Pirates.

The Associated Press estimates the Dodgers' payroll climbed to roughly $297 million with the big trade. One of these days I will get to updating our payroll worksheet, but for now I just want to break down how much was added in these deals.

Thanks as always to the invaluable Cot's Baseball Contracts for help with filling in some of the gaps here.

First, a note: baseball salaries based on a 183-day regular season that runs from the Sunday opening day through the final Sunday of the season, Oct. 4 this year.

The three-team deal with the Marlins was completed on Thursday. Counting that day, there were 67 days remaining in the regular season. Which brings us back the Associated Press, with the details of cash received by the Dodgers in the three-teamer:

Atlanta pays the Dodgers $7.45 million on Dec. 10 this year, and Miami gives the Dodgers $2,601,093 on Oct. 15, 2016.

That second amount happens to work out perfectly to Michael Morse 's $7 million 2015 salary, with 68 days left in the season ($7 million / 183 x 68 = $2,601,093), but the deal wasn't completed on Wednesday, so I am adjusting this slightly, to $2,562,842 ($7 million / 183 x 67).

The Dodgers carried Morse for a day before dealing him to the Pirates, so I'm adding 1/183rd of his salary ($38,251) to the cost of the deal. The only unknown to date is the amount of money the Dodgers sent to the Pirates in the Morse deal for Jose Tabata.

Here is a look at what the Dodgers added and lost, including the roster spots of Mike Bolsinger, Zach Lee and (I'm assuming on Sunday) Yimi Garcia, whose spots were taken.

Player 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Mat Latos $3,441,530
Bronson Arroyo $3,478,142 $4,500,000
Jose Tabata $1,442,623 $4,500,000 $250,000 opt opt
Jim Johnson $585,792
Alex Wood $190,383 team arb arb arb
Luis Avilan $194,044 arb arb arb
Michael Morse $38,251
Hector Olivera ($732,240) ($4,000,000) ($6,000,000) ($6,500,000) ($7,500,000) ($8,500,000)
Paco Rodriguez ($191,298)
Mike Bolsinger ($186,639)
Zach Lee ($183,033)
Yimi Garcia ($178,361)
Cash from Atlanta ($7,450,000)
Cash from Miami ($2,562,842)
Cash to Pittsburgh unknown
Totals $449,194+ $2,437,158 ($5,750,000) ($6,500,000) ($7,500,000) ($8,500,000)

Hector Olivera is the big wild card here. The Dodgers committed a $28 million signing bonus to the Cuban import, for which they are responsible. So they essentially paid $28 million, plus $1,267,760 of his $2 million salary in 2015, for the right to an asset they could trade. If you want to add that the cost of the deal, I wouldn't argue.

But the flip side is that the Dodgers also trimmed the $32.5 million over five years that was committed to him from 2016-2020. A huge chunk of that will likely go to Wood in his four years before free agency.

"For us, it's a trade off between talent and taking on money when you can. In our situation, with our directive to build up the farm system to a point where we can operate at a level of sustainability which we are comfortable at in the long term, there are times it makes sense to substitute cash for players," general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Friday. "In the three-way deal there was obviously some money changing hands where we felt it was advantageous to do that."

So while the numbers thrown around in the deal were quite large, these trades for the Dodgers were basically just a reallocation of resources based on salary commitments that were already made.