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Report: Dodgers looking at sub-$100 million payroll in 2012

Nov 16, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Frank McCourt , Matt Kemp AP

While there was talk last month about the Dodgers potentially being a player for Albert Pujols or Prince Fiedler this winter, it’s clear that’s not happening.

Sources told that the Dodgers will enter 2012 with a payroll “well under” $100 million. The team opened 2011 with a $104.1 million payroll.

The moves the Dodgers have made to date support that assessment. The two-year deal given to Mark Ellis is structured so that he’ll receive $2.5 million next year and $5.25 million in 2013. Matt Kemp, who could have commanded as much as $16 million-$17 million in arbitration, will earn just $10 million next year as part of his eight-year, $160 million contract.

The FOXSports report goes on to state that the Dodgers have left enough flexibility in their budget to bring back both Andre Ethier and James Loney for what will be their final years of arbitration eligibility. The opportunity would be there for them to get both better and cheaper at first base, but Loney apparently was saved by his late-season surge.

As is, the Dodgers project to have just two standout regulars in Kemp and Ethier. Their lineup will probably look something like: SS Dee Gordon, 2B Ellis, CF Kemp, RF Ethier, LF Juan Rivera, 1B Loney, 3B Juan Uribe, C A.J. Ellis.

If this comes to pass as FOXSports expects, it will be the first time since 2006 that the Dodgers will open with a sub-$100 million payroll.

  1. 78mu - Nov 16, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Can’t they bring Pujols out to Los Angeles, show him the stadium and the Dodger uniforms? Then Albert can tell them he wants 10 years at 30 million per and watch McCourt act like he doesn’t understand English as pushes Pujols into a cab leaving for the airport.

  2. paul621 - Nov 16, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    Why did Kemp lock himself into that mess?

    • rforr3tard3d - Nov 16, 2011 at 7:12 PM

      I assume loyalty and the fact that the team played extremely well to close the season, and with new ownership coming in the team should be much better in the coming years.

    • lanflfan - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:28 AM

      Probably because he is happy here and was given 160 million reasons to stay. Not everyone likes New York and Boston.

      Also, LA is a great place to live and once McCourt is rudely shown the door the team (and payroll) will get significantly better.

  3. crankyfrankie - Nov 16, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    I think Kemp is a great ballplayer but til the ownership mess is solved I think he should have waited.

  4. cup0pizza - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Oh god please no more Loney!

    • lanflfan - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      Unfortunately, I think James will be back. I still hold a glimmer of hope he can be the guy (extremely doubtful), but at least his glove doesn’t hurt. Hopefully he can pass on some defensive skills to Jerry Sands or whichever kid is destined to replace him.

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